Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art : with a chapter on the early institutions of art in New York"

See other formats

"70S, Hi i 


3 3333 05984 0583 



* Department 

T ' T F 1 ' '*-!* A 











M C M X I I 



1 ' ,5 

K 658f6 




THE idea of writing this history originated with Mr. 
Henry W. Kent, who since 1905 has been assistant 
secretary of the museum. Under his direction and 
with his collaboration the volume has been prepared by Miss 
Winifred E. Howe. Its authors had no personal knowl- 
edge of the museum prior to their official connection with 
it. The book, therefore, has been compiled largely from 
the minutes of meetings and other filed papers. The manu- 
script has been submitted for criticism to Mr. Joseph H. 
Choate, whose suggestions have all been adopted; I too 
have had an opportunity for revision, of which 1 have spar- 
ingly availed myself. Mr. Choate and 1, however, have 
not sought to change its form, but have confined ourselves 
to a few corrections and amplifications. It is hoped that 
the publication of these pages will elicit information of a more 
personal character than that contained in the official docu- 
ments -- information relating particularly to the earlier 
history of the museum -- which can be included in a later 
edition. Such information would be invaluable to the his- 
torian of the future, who, writing of an earlier generation, 
could without impropriety dwell upon matters forbidden to 
the writer of contemporary history. 
The attempt to collect and present in readable form all 


fte flew York Public Library 
Mid-Manhattan Library 
Aft Department 
455 Fifth Avenue 
York, New York K 


the data of public interest concerning the New York Metro- 
politan Museum has been made largely with the hope that 
its history would encourage the establishment of such in- 
stitutions in other cities. Many of our large cities now 
offer to museums greater possibilities of success and use- 
fulness than existed in New York when the Metropolitan 
was founded forty-two years ago, and its development from 
small beginnings, but under a broad and comprehensive plan, 
should stimulate like undertakings elsewhere. A small art 
museum on educational lines is a necessary adjunct to all 
public libraries except where proximity to a large art center 
admits of co-ordination between library and museum. It 
is an encouraging sign that the number of these small mu- 
seums is constantly increasing. If this history be suggestive 
and stimulating to public-spirited citizens interested in found- 
ing museums elsewhere, this book will have served a useful 

My own official c ^nnection with the museum dates back 
no further than 1883, but through my father-in-law, John 
Taylor Johnston, 1 was from the start so closely associated 
with it, both in interest and action, that my memory covers 
in some degree the whole period of its existence. 

Looking back over this period as I read the proof of this 
book, whose pages recall so much that I once knew, and tell 
me so much that 1 now know for the first time, a number of 
thoughts press upon me for expression which are rather in 
the nature of an "afterword" than a "foreword." It is 
plain that the idea of a museum in New York had its con- 
ception far back in the beginning of the last century. Had 
not the ground been prepared -- enriched, it may be --by 
the failure of earlier efforts, the growth of our museum would 
not have been so rapid. It is plain, too, that the need in 
response to which it was founded, was felt in other parts of 
this country besides New York City, for the art museums 



which to-day hold the foremost rank were all established at 
about the same time. 

It is fortunate that the movement to establish the museum 
was from the start under the control of a large and repre- 
sentative body of men, and that the raising of money took 
the form of a general subscription. Too often, in the early 
life of such an institution, has the great prominence and 
generosity of a single person handicapped its future growth. 
While the initiative came from the Art Committee of the 
Union League Club, the officers of the meeting called on 
November 23, 1869, to consider the founding of the museum 
represented the intellectual and artistic leadership of New 
York. Among them were William Cullen Bryant, Presi- 
dent of the Century Association; Daniel Huntington, Presi- 
dent of the National Academy of Design; Richard M. 
Hunt, President of the New York Chapter of the Institute 
of Architects; Dr. Barnard, President of Columbia College; 
and Dr. Henry W. Bellows, foremost among New York's 
public-spirited clergymen. Present on behalf of the city 
government, at this first meeting, were Andrew H. Green, 
Comptroller of Central Park, and Henry G. Stebbins, Presi- 
dent of the Central Park Commission - - their attendance 
foreshadowing, at the outset, the close relationship of the 
Museum with the City which was later established and 
which has been so potent a factor in its development. The 
Committee of Fifty, into whose hands the project was com- 
mitted by this meeting, was even more representative than 
the earlier body, adding to the leaders in literature and art 
the foremost business men of the period. 

Fortunate, and remarkable, too, was the broad scope of 
museum activities conceived by these early committees. It 
would have been quite in the spirit of the time to make the 
new institution simply a gallery of painting and sculpture. 
Not so. While the memorable address of William Cullen 



Bryant at this first meeting* naturally emphasized, as became 
the poet, the aesthetic enjoyment of the fine arts, the Com- 
mittee set out to found a museum that should contain com- 
plete collections of objects illustrative of the history of "all 
the arts, whether industrial, educational, or recreative, which 
can give value to such an institution." 

Thus we find that the present trustees, in laying emphasis 
upon industrial art and education, more or less in the belief 
that they are initiating new departures, are but returning 
to the basic principles upon which the museum was founded. 

And what was the sum of money these founders placed 
before themselves as the goal of their ambition with which 
to establish the new institution, started by so general a 
movement and so all-embracing in its aims? It is pathetic 
to recall that it was only $250,000, a sum $100,000 less than 
the present annual administrative expenses of the institution 
which they founded a little more than forty years ago! And 
it is still more pathetic to recall that after more than a year's 
effort they had raised less than half the desired sum --only 
$106,000! Such financially was the modest beginning of the 
great Metropolitan Museum which now, besides its exten- 
sive building and its priceless collections, has an endowment 
for purchase funds of over $10,000,000! Does this not en- 
courage like effort elsewhere? 

But what the founders lacked in money they made up in 
wisdom and zeal. 

The idea of locating an art museum in Central Park orig- 
inated with Andrew H. Green, the father of that great park, 
and it must be a satisfaction to those who worked with him 
and who cherish his memory to know that the Museum now 
stands upon the spot he designated for such a purpose. But 
the actual housing of the Museum there, in a building erected 
and owned by the city, and the lease which defines the rela- 

*Printed at page 106. 



tion between the museum and the city in its occupation of 
the building, bear testimony to the wisdom of its founders 
and the far-sighted policy of those public officials who at 
the time of its organization represented our city. It is curi- 
ous and interesting to recall that the public officials to adopt 
this policy in 1871 were none other than William M. Tweed 
and Peter B. Sweeny. 

Included in the text is material which gives some notion 
of the personal service rendered by those early Trustees - 
notably the letters of Mr. Johnston to Mr. Blodgett, relating 
to the first exhibition, and an account of the labors of William 
C. Prime and William L. Andrews, who unpacked with their 
own hands the collections when they were moved from the 
Douglas Mansion to their new home in Central Park. 

The history of the museum divides itself naturally into 
three periods. The first, during which it had largely to 
rely upon voluntary service, may be said to have ended in 
1879 with the election as first salaried director of General 
di Cesnola. The second period, increasingly marked by 
the General's dominating personality, came to a close at his 
death in 1904. The third period began with the election 
as President of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. During these later 
years the Museum, with larger resources, and we hope with 
no less wisdom than in the earlier days has been better able 
to realize the broad aims of its founders. The earlier chap- 
ters of this book treat of events sufficiently remote to be the 
proper subject of history; they can be viewed in historic 
perspective. But the last chapter, treating as it does of 
recent events, can be deemed only a contribution toward 
history still to be written. 

The friends of the Museum who have made it what it is, 
and there are many outside the ranks of its trustees and even 
of its membership, as well as the descendants of those who 
labored and have entered into their rest, will, I know, join 



me in thanking Mr. Kent and Miss Howe for this book, 
which will quicken memories of the past and afford inspira- 
tion for the future. 



PREFACE . vii 


INTRODUCTION: The Early Institutions of Art in 

New York ..... i 


(1871-1873) ... 141 


1879) . . . . 15? 



1894) . . 227 

VI CONTINUED EXTENSION (1895-1905) . . 261 

(1905-1912) . . . 285 


INDEX 3 2 7 



BROADSIDE Frontispiece 

Issued by the Tammany Society, June i, 1791. 


From an unpublished water-color drawing in the possession of 
William Loring Andrews. 


From the engraving by E. McKenzie, after the painting by John 



From the engraving by William S. Leney, after the painting by 
Benjamin West. 


From an engraving by Scoles. Published in the New York 


From the engraving by Asher B. Durand, after the painting by 
the artist. 


From the engraving by V. Balch, after the portrait by E. Ames. 

DAVID HOSACK, M. D. ... ... 31 

From the engraving by Asher B. Durand, after the portrait by 
Thomas Sully. 





-JANUARYS, 1831 35 

JOHN PINTARD . .... 37 

From a pen-and-ink drawing by an unknown artist. 


From a lithograph. 


From a lithograph by George Hayward, published in Valentine's 
Manual, 1862. 


From a painting by himself. The property of Mrs. Franz 


From the engraving by G.Parker, after the portrait by Henry Inman. 


Twenty-third Street. 


From the engraving by Julius Gallmann. 


From an engraving after the drawing by Z. Wallin. 

LUMAN REED . . . . 63 

After the painting by Asher B. Durand. Formerly in the New 
York Gallery, now in the New York Historical Society. 

GALLERY .... ... 65 

PETER COOPER ... . . .69 

From a photograph. 


From an engraving by Sidney L. Smith, after the drawing by 
A. J. Davis. 


Showing Peale's Museum (to the left) Scudder's first Museum 
and the Academy of Arts (to the right). From an unpublished 
water-color drawing by A. J. Davis, 1826, in the possession of 
William Loring Andrews. 


From a wood engraving by C. Burton. 


From a wood engraving in the Cosmopolitan Art Association 
Bulletin, by N. Orr. 





From a colored lithograph. 


From a wood engraving. 


From the painting by Leon Joseph Florentin Bonnat. 

JOHN JAY . . 105 

From the painting by Jared B. Flagg. The property of the 
Union League Club. 

MAP OF CENTRAL PARK . . . . Opp. 153 


From a drawing by Frank Waller. 

STREET . . . ; 163 


From the painting by Frank Waller. 


By Calvert Vaux and J. Wrey Mould. 


By Calvert Vaux and J. Wrey Mould. 


By Calvert Vaux and J. Wrey Mould. 


From an illustration in The Daily Graphic. 


From a photograph. 


From an illustration in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. 
Drawn by H. A. Ogden. 

View) ^ 

From an illustration in Harper's Weekly. 

PLANS 195 





From an illustration in The Daily Graphic. 


From an illustration in The Daily Graphic. 


From the painting by John Singer Sargent. 

CENTRAL PARK . . . ... . . 233 

PARK. . . . . ' . . . . .235 

Trial Sketch for the Facade. 

PARK 235 

Sketch for the Facade as Adopted. 



From a photograph. 






From the portrait by Carlos Baca-Flor. 


From a photograph. 






From the painting by John Singer Sargent. 






! ^ag^fr 




HE Taroraany Scci 
hiflery <>r Amend 

re appropriated. 

The facrdi t ;~ thi, in[li:uriin. however, mull, in a great me.i!ur?, depend on the v. 
pjblK- ; and ihc prcfent colL-frian has chiefly anlea from this Iburc-. Although, quiiL- :n 
tiini arlicki in ihc hilloncal and natural lines, highly defcrving the notice . ( :' 

As almcft every individual poflctfc* fome article winch in itfelf u of li;i!e value, but i 

, bcc< 

of real 

vardi Arming a ccltcabn which prcoufcs fair to become an objcfl ot public utility. The article* and names of the "generous 
donors, are carefully rendered la a 'Ook kept for the purpofe, the contents of which will be publ.flwJ a: Ibmc lulure fi.n. 

Lvcry thing, and from whaMier lime, will be acceptable; | jr alrhoi'gft the lJn, J - L ,f the focicty -re confine.! to American 
produflions, ihcdoort of ihc MufeVm are, rsvenheleli. open to vcbnury Conuil.u.^ni Irom every .luarter. 

The corporation of this city, ever difpofcd to encourage patrioiic unJertilines, and, favour*! t on 'lie ' n iih tlic imtxirtance 
of the p-elenr, haj gcncroufly gtaored a room in the City-Hall, on a rjn R " ,!, h che I J ' for the uic of the 
HhKhisat prcfent opened every T efday and Friday afiernoons. for the gratificaii nof pubJ eariouiy 

An/article fcnt thereon ibofc d V i, or to Mr. JOHN PIKTA. No. S7 , King Rrcct, will t,, [lunfcfully accepted, and due 
care uken ot ihem. 

'Ql^ fit 



I. Ofrlt tttfti . 

THE Truflecs ol the AaieriCjn Muleum, w by law elecl- 
e(J, Ihall, on the firil Itated meeting alter their eleflioo, 
annually choofe from out of their number, a, Chairm-m, a Trea- 
lbr, and e Secretflry. 

II. Of tbt Chairmax, 

The Chiirman ii to prcfide at all mcetingi, to preferve order, 
to regulate (he debate*, and to ftate and p'iKjucftions. sgrec- 
able to the fen fc and imcntionof the Truilecs. In the abfencc 
of the Oiaimian, his place Dull be fuppiicd by one of th? Truf- 
teci, cholen fry bae i-i(t. 

III. Of the Trtefurer. 

^he Treafurcr (hall receive all monies that may become due 
tO'thc Mufcum, and fliall pay the fimc, by ao order from the 
Chairman, which lhall be his voucher. The Treafurcr Jhjll 
teepa regular account of all monies received and p^id hy him, 
as aforeUid; and once every yedr, or oltencr if required by the 
Trurtees, he fhaJl render an accuuot to them of the flock in tm 
hands, and the difborlcmentj made by their order, sod (hill 
deliver up to hb fuccellor, the book* and all pipers belonging 
to them, together ith the balance ot cifh in hts hands. 

IV. Of tk Sftretaiy. 

The Secretary rtiail take theminutea, and rc^d all letters and 
papers that may be communicated to the Truifces. He (hall 
enter into a book, to be provided for the purpofe, an account 
of all donations made to the Mulcuin, together unh the names 
ol'rhedonon;. Hefhalttafec charge of, and preferve, all boob, 
pamphlets, and works prclcnted to the Muieum, or purchafed 
by it i 

All coriofities, whether of nature or ait, prelcnted or pur- 
thilcd, anu (hall eUls and arrange nem in their proper order. 
V. Of tbt mfftfins f tkt "Jmfttti. 

The ordirmy roeerings ot'thcTnifkes fhafl be on ihcfecond 
and fourth Fn Jays of every month, from October to Mav, both 
IncluJifc, at fiit o'clock in the evening} on the fourth Friday of 
each of the other four months, at fcven o'clock. No meeting 
Dull be continued after ten, o'clock. Fj se Trufleesftiail con- 
rtitute s qaorum. 
VJ. O//A, fflritMtin of Kfae}, a *j Wfl *,w ttrw /^- w 

No part pf ibe tun Js ftiaJl bcdifpr/ed of but by a regular no- 
tion, fcconded ajid agreed to by n majority of the Truflce^ pic- 
ft. And all orden for payment fhall be figned by the Chair- 
man. No new law fhall be mde, until the fame (fail have been 
proposed w one meeting, and agreed ro by * majorit>- of Truf- 
tccj (forming a quorum) prcfent at a iubfcquent meeting. 

VII. 0/aA'rrfrr. 

The Trunee* (hall clcdt i K. 'per of rise Mufeum, wbofe ' 
duty (ball be to fummon all meeting* called by (he Chairman. ' 
t>> attend the fame, and perfgrm Inch nrccilary offices as rruy 
be required. He mall receirc all prelenu made ro the iocim-, 
and dcp'-fit them in the Mulium, giving an account there, I to 
the Secretary. He (hall adiritall jn^niben into the Mufeum, 
at i'uch times as malice oppinteti tor that purpofe. and ftall 
take care no vifnorremwcor injure any of thearfclei be- 
longing to the Moi'gcoV. For all which tervires, he (h-ll be 
entitled to fuch compcnfation as ihc T^uftccs (hall fee fit to 

VIII. Ofaefi H, anJvff ,f iht Ma/rum. 
The intention ol thcTunmany Society or Columbian OrJcr, 
in citablifhmg an dnterifan Mujiatx, being for the fo!c purpoic 
of colkaing and preferring whatever may relarc to the hill^ry 
of our country, and fervs to pcrperuatc the Ume, ai alio all 
American curiofitjea of natare or arl In order to anlwcr iriis 
end, it is evident that every article prden'cd to; cr rmrchnkd 
by the fociery, ought to be carefully depofitcd in the Mufeum, 
and newer be allowed to be nkcn out of the fame, leafl itfliould 
be mifljiJ. and perhaps irremcvabty loft Ncvcnhdefs, m or- 
der to render rhii Mufeum feinceabl, to ihc great intereib of 
f'jciety, eirry member of the Tarn many Society fh-ll have fiee 
acccls thereto, through means of the Kcepet, and fhill be pcr- 
mittciJ to examine all the nawril or artinajl curiofities, ind read 
all boob, pamphlets am! papers, and take ci'trafls thfretrom, 
as fjr as may fuit his purpolrt, but fhall riot he allowed to tike 
away any thing whatever out of the Mui'cum, on any pretext 

The Mufeum fhall alfo be acccGible to any other ptrfon, not 
s member of the fociery, but who flull be introduced by a 
member, who fliall be alike indulged and alike (abject to the 
fam: regulations as the mcirbcrao! the focicry. 

Ttic following are the Truftecs for the present year: 







JOHN P1NTARD, Secretary. 

GARDNER BAKER, Keeper. No. ij.Mfliden-Unc, 

R'hois auiborned to (olicit donauont. 
Nrw-rwi, June i, 1791. 



ANY real understanding of the circumstances included 
in the inception and growth of an institution such as 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art must come from a 
knowledge of a long list of events antedating its actual incor- 
poration. To record the efforts of earlier generations toward 
the establishment of permanent institutions of art in New 
York City is also but simple justice, for undoubtedly upon 
their failures as well as upon their successes have been builded 
the achievements of our day. 

The only museum on the island of Manhattan of which 
there is any record before 1800 was conducted by the Tam- 
many Society, "a fraternity of patriots," established before 
April 30, 1 787,* "solemnly consecrated to the independence, 
the popular liberty, and the federal union of the Country." 
According to a contemporary record, 2 this society took as 
its objects "the smile of charity, the chain of friendship, 
and the flame of liberty." In 1790, the followers of Saint 
Tammany, largely through the initiative of John Pintard, 
their first Sagamore, a public-spirited man who stood sponsor 
for many a worthy undertaking of his day, established a 

1 The New York Daily Advertiser of this date contains a notice for the 
"Members of Saint Tammany Society in the City of New York" to meet 
at their wigwam, 49 Cortlandt Street, on May ist. 

2 New York Directory and Register, 1795, p. 312. 


museum "for the purpose of collecting and preserving every- 
thing relating to the history of America, likewise, every 
American production of nature or art/' 1 surely a fairly large 
undertaking for a young society. Greater still is the range 
of objects which the Trustees announced themselves willing 
to receive as gifts, " Everything, and from whatever clime, 
will be acceptable." 2 The venerable Dr. John W. Francis 
in his delightful Old New York 3 gives a somewhat detailed 
account of the Indian relics in this Tammany Museum, 
mentioning wampum beads, tomahawks, belts, earthen jars, 
and pots, with other antiquities; together with all that could 
be found of Indian literature in war songs, hieroglyphic 
writings on stone, bark, and skins, etc. On May 21, 1791, 
the museum was thrown open to the public and its by-laws 
and regulations published. 4 Tuesday and Friday after- 
noons were the hours set "for the gratification of public 

At this time our first museum was housed in a room al- 
lotted to the Tammany Society in the old City Hall, on 
Wall Street, where the sub-treasury now stands. Out- 
growing these quarters, it found a new home in 1794 in a 
brick building erected between 1 752 and 1 754 in the middle of 
Broad Street between Water and Front Streets, 5 and known 
from its original use as the " Exchange." The lower part was 
then used for a market. As the upper part had excellent 
light on all sides, 6 it was a suitable place for a museum. 

1 Broadside issued June i, 1791. 

2 Broadside issued June i, 1791. 

3 J. W. Francis, Old New York, p. 124. 

4 See N. Y. Daily Advertiser, May 21, 1791, and Broadside issued June i, 

5 Rufus Rockwell Wilson, New York Old and New, Vol. i, p. 124. 

6 The "long room" on the second floor was (at one time) occupied as 
a military school and occasionally for dancing assemblies. (The building) 
was torn down about the beginning of the present century. Valentine's 
Manual, 1862. 



Interest in art among the members of the Tammany 
Society speedily waned; only one man, Gardiner Baker, 
the generous and enthusiastic custodian of the museum, 
kept his early zeal for the institution. A resolution passed 
June 25, 1795, recognized his "extraordinary exertions," 
and transferred the museum to him, the society relinquish- 
ing all its right thereto, provided that the members of the 

I II I/ 1 i 



society with their families should always have free admit- 
tance to the Museum, which should be kept "one and in- 
divisible" in some convenient place within the city of New 
York and always be known as the Tammany Museum. 

Mr. Baker continued to add to its attractions, among his 
accessions being a full-length portrait of General Wash- 
ington by Stuart, one of four painted by him. Soon after- 
ward, however, this first museum curator, then but a young 
man, died of yellow fever while in Boston exhibiting this 



picture. In the scattering of his possessions all trace of the 
Stuart seems to have been lost. After Mr. Baker's death 
the Museum was sold to W. J. Waldron, and passed through 
several hands. In course of time part of the contents came 
into the possession of John Scudder 1 in his American Mu- 
seum, 2 which later became a part of Phineas T. Barnum's 
museum of wonders. 

Beginning with the nineteenth century, there were six im- 
portant institutions of art in New York --or more strictly, 
Manhattan --established earlier than The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. Of these six organizations one half long 
ago ceased to exist, but even so they played a part by no 
means negligible in the history of art in the city. In general 
they lacked support, either the support of their own member- 
ship, or that of an art-loving community, or again that of 
an enlightened legislature, alive to its opportunity of foster- 
ing such educational institutions. A letter written in 1823 
by the poet James G. Percival may stand as evidence of the 
lack of an appreciative public. It reads, "Morse's picture 
of Congress Hall 3 has cost him $i 10 to exhibit in New York. 
Tell it not in Gath! He labored at it eighteen months and 
spent many hundred dollars in its execution, and now he has 
to pay the public for looking at it." 4 Even ten years later 
Mr. Morse wrote to James Fenimore Cooper, "There is a 
great deal to dishearten in the state of feeling, or rather state 
of no feeling, on the arts in this city. The only way I can 

1 See page 75. 

2 The name American Museum was also used by the Tammany Society, 
for the Broadside of June i, 1791, is headed American Museum, under the 
Patronage of the Tammany Society or Columbian Order. 

3 This same picture sold some years later for |i,ooo, and by that sale our 
Representatives took up their residence in England. They later returned 
to America, for the picture became the property of Daniel Huntington and 
has now been purchased by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. 

4 Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists, p. 168. 



keep up my spirits is by resolutely resisting all disposition 
to repine, and by fighting perseveringly against all the 
obstacles that hinder the progress of art. I have been told 
several times since my return that I was born 100 years 
too soon for the arts in our country." To show how the 
lawmakers at Albany felt, one fact may be cited. In the 
year 1810 a bill for endowing the New York Historical 
Society and killing the wolves and panthers was rejected 
in the State Legislature, and the Society was granted 
"the glorious privilege of being independent." As George 
Brown Goode, who as Assistant Secretary of the Smith- 
sonian Institution in charge of the U. S. National Museum, 
made an exhaustive study of museum-history, pointed out, 
"In the early days of the republic, the establishment of 
such institutions by city, state, or federal government would 
not have been considered a legitimate act." 1 Of the three 
organizations still in existence, each one has come through 
an early period of financial stress, varying in intensity with 
the institution, but felt by all, and is now in a secure position 
of recognized influence and helpfulness. 

The six institutions referred to will be discussed in chron- 
ological order. 



To Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, ambassador to France 
at that time, is due the honor of originating this first society 
for the encouragement of the fine arts in the United States, 
which was formed by subscription in 1802, the immediate 

1 A Memorial of George Brown Goode, together with a Selection of his 
Papers, Washington, 1901, p. 69. 


object being "to procure casts in plaister of the most beau- 
tiful pieces of ancient Sculpture now collected in the National 
Museum" (the Louvre), the selection being entrusted to the 
ambassador. 1 Chancellor Livingston's own love of beauty 
was evident in the furnishings of his home at Clermont. He 
brought from France Gobelin tapestries, with which he cov- 
ered the walls of his drawing-room, engravings and paintings, 
among them a portrait of Henry IV, 2 and other objects both 
rare and beautiful. 

The original agreement of The American Academy of the 
Fine Arts with the subscribers' names, which may be seen at 
the New York Historical Society, has been reproduced in 
part here. A brother of Robert R. Livingston, Edward 
Livingston, then mayor of the city, became its first president. 
Aaron Burr actively cooperated in the organization. Another 
familiar name found early in the Academy's records is Robert 
Fulton, a pupil of Benjamin West and a painter as well 
as an inventor, who was a director, and whose widow and 
children - - Fulton died in 1815 -- were, by a special by-law, 
given free admission during their lives. 

'The plan of the American Academy comprised a per- 
manent as well as periodical exhibitions, lectures, schools, a 
library, and other agencies in art education, copied from a 
foreign model - - that of the not long established Royal 
Academy in England." 3 The scope of the plan and the con- 
fidence with which many a foreign artist was honored with 

] ln an address delivered by DeWitt Clinton in i8i6wefmd this statement, 
''There are but two institutions of this kind in America one in Mexico 
of an earlier, and one in Philadelphia, of a more recent origin." Three state 
academies of science had already been established: The American Philo- 
sophical Society, Philadelphia, 1743; The American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, Boston, 1780; The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 

2 American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, Sixteenth Annual 
Report, p. 327. 
3 John Durand, Life and Times of A. B. Durand, p. 27. 






membership in a New World academy, must make us respect, 
if we do not share the optimism of the Directors, a small 
body of men in the midst of a community then little recog- 
nizing or appreciating art. Indeed, the entire scheme seems 
inflated and grandiose, with much machinery but little real 
mastery of the situation. 

The name first suggested for the new organization was the 
New York Academy of the Fine Arts; but when on February 
12, 1808, the charter was obtained, the word American was 
substituted for New York and Fine was omitted. In this 
charter 1 the following officers were named: Robert R. Liv- 
ingston, President; John Trumbull, Vice President; DeWitt 
Clinton, David Hosack, John R. Murray, William Cutting, 
and Charles Wilkes, Directors. The same document limits 
the annual income to $5,000, and the stock of the corporation 
to one thousand shares of $25 each. When this charter 
was amended on March 28, 1817, the name was changed 
to the one we have used, The American Academy of the 
Fine Arts. 

What of the personnel of this Academy? To say that it 
numbered among its members some of the most prominent 
men of New York, eminently respectable gentlemen, can 
hardly be deemed exaggeration when we recall that DeWitt 
Clinton, mayor of the city almost continuously from 1803 to 
1815, attained one public office after another until 1825 when 
he was the honored governor who took part in the triumphal 
celebration of the opening of the Erie Canal: Dr. David 
Hosack was a practitioner, teacher, and writer on medical 
and scientific subjects, the professor of botany at Columbia 
College as early as 1795, the founder of the first public bo- 
tanic garden in 1801, and of the hospital which afterwards 
became known as Bellevue; Cadwallader D. Golden, another 

J The Charter and By-Laws of the American Academy of the Fine Arts, 
New York, 1817. 


- 7/1 tlUl I J<,^ /tr,: ,,,,/, /,: f. //, ,././,,,.,,, ,.. 

- 7/1 tlUl I <,^ tr,: ,,,,/, ,: 

,,,!.- I, / / / J',, .-./.' '' V 


(/fait/It f / /I. ;.',! 

'fa-' -J,< f-> . '/,,>, //if ,*,, 

,,/., </ /' ,,./... 

< .,,.,,,/..,. < ,,<,> 

f /J ~* ' : ' 

.,,// '/.' ,/<.,,/. f , f ' J/, / 

/L !<:><> ,<,/>../'>< 

,.>,, ,, ,) nl 

f ..,>,,<'< e , t 

' ' ' ' ' ' / 

l /.)/ - / Jr ,-,,/.. ->/.///, /<:,."< f .','/-/, /}< 

<>. / //o,/. ,.,//,. ^y, 



J, t I , . < / , I f / ,J> /I <* , , ) ,j Jl H 

i//i v^< /A< .</ ,,</> <* 


. . /, , 

/ .^ 

/^. jfir 



f, /l-/J/>ia>' S,T-< l /,,. ,,<SL,,/ v-'< "-<>, Lc*,f A. A, n ,'r<-// n /i,ii 
/ i /A / '< > / -^' ' ' "f- " % ' / ^% 

~jL /<} tt S, / >lff :'^ :. //' 

/ y 


V. N^' .J 7 



,4^s***^^ ^*^^ 






active worker for the Academy, stood at the head of his 
profession as a commercial lawyer and succeeded DeWitt 
Clinton as Mayor of New York; Edward Livingston was a 
noted jurist and statesman, best known for his masterly 
codification of the penal laws of Louisiana; and Robert R. 
Livingston was a man of international fame. He was one of 
fiv, to draft the Declaration of Independence, the first Chan- 
cellor under a state constitution that he had helped draw up, 
as such the person to administer the oath of office to George 
Washington, when he became the first president of the 
United States, interested with Robert Fulton in developing 
a plan of steam navigation, and, most important of all per- 
haps, successful as an ambassador in securing the cession of 
Louisiana to the United States. 

The Academy was honored also by its honorary member- 
ship, among whom were soon enrolled Napoleon Bonaparte, 
a personal friend of Chancellor Livingston, who "presented 
to the institution many valuable busts, antique statues, and 
rare prints," l including twenty-four volumes of the works of 
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the Italian etcher of ancient 
Rome, Vivant Denon, the French archaeologist and diplo- 
matist, and Benjamin West, "the Quaker Boy who became the 
President of the Royal Academy." That West was interested 
in the museums of his day is shown by his going on a museum 
pilgrimage in 1801 to see the collection of art brought to- 
gether in the Louvre. 

John Trumbull was the one artist mentioned in the charter. 
That there were no other representatives of his guild is not 
remarkable in view of the fact that there were no others of 
sufficient standing, socially and artistically, to merit the 
honor; and although there is no authority for the statement, 
it is undoubtedly true that he was the moving force in the 
undertaking during its early days as he was during its later 

^uckerman, Book of the Artists, p. 16. 



history. 1 Of a most distinguished family, he had associated 
from his childhood with the great men of his day; just re- 
turned from England, he was well acquainted with the work- 
ings of the Royal Academy; and for both these reasons he 
would naturally have moulded the new institution on aris- 
tocratic lines. It may be said that no other artist of his 
period in this country received so much government patron- 
age. We may surmise that he easily commanded it on the 
strength of his father's connection with the politicians of the 
day. His four historical pictures for the rotunda in the 
Capitol at Washington -- the Declaration of Independence, 
the Surrender of Burgoyne, the Surrender of Cornwallis, 
and the Resignation of Washington at Annapolis - - brought 
him in $32,000. Yet in his last years he was glad to 
accept an annuity of $1,000 from Yale College in return 
for a bequest to the college of his works. John Durand's 
analysis of Colonel Trumbull's character throws some 
light on the incidents in the Academy history in which 
he was the prime mover. Durand says, " He was of 
an excitable and even passionate temperament, which 
often rendered him arbitrary and dictatorial in certain 
public relations. Of superior intelligence, wide experience, 
noble in aspiration, and conscientious, he would defer 
only to those whom he knew to surpass him in these 

The youthful academy at once set about obtaining the 
collection of casts. Robert R. Livingston, as already re- 
corded, was its first purchasing agent in Paris. His shipment 
of casts reached New York in 1803. Livingston's selection 
might well meet with approval as containing works of recog- 

'Trumbull's name stands last on the original agreement of the subscribers, 
for he did not return from England to his native land until 1804, but previous 
to this time he had been appealed to by letter for suggestions in regard to 
the Academy. The following year he became a Director of the Academy. 

2 John Durand, John Trumbull, Boston, 1881. 





nized value. The list, as given in Dunlap 1 and furnished him 
by John G. Bogert, a member of the Academy, is as follows: 
the Apollo Belvedere, Venus of the Capitol, Laocoon, the Glad- 
iator, Silenus and Bacchus, Grecian Cupid, Castor and Pol- 
lux, Germanicus, Hermaphrodite, Venus of the Bath, Torso 
of a Venus, with busts of Homer, Demosthenes, Niobe, 
Euripides, Hippocrates, Artemisia, Cleopatra, Alexander, 
Bacchus, Roma, Seneca, Augustus, Cicero, Brutus, and 
Xenophon. Inasmuch as a committee appointed in 1826 
by the Academy to obtain a complete record of the history 
of the institution from its beginning failed to obtain a list of 
casts purchased by Livingston, even though they corres- 
ponded with members of Livingston's family and hunted 
through freight invoices, the accuracy of this list is question- 
able. These casts, however, were undoubtedly in the Acad- 
emy's possession, whether obtained by Livingston, or other- 

In the spring of 1803 John Vanderlyn, an American artist 
who through the aid of Aaron Burr had already spent five 
years in study abroad and was returning for a second stay, 
was commissioned to add to the collection of casts from the 
antique, and to obtain copies of famous pictures. The agree- 
ment between John Vanderlyn and the American Academy 
runs as follows : " The said John Vanderlyn, in consideration 
of the covenants hereinafter expressed, on the part of the said 
Edward Livingston, doth covenant and agree to proceed, with 
all convenient speed, to the city of Paris, and from thence 
to Florence, Rome, and such other places in Italy, as he shall 
judge proper, in order to procure casts from antique statues 
and other pieces of sculpture, copies of the best paintings, 
and generally to conform himself to such instructions, as 
shall from time to time be given to him from the said Society, 

'William Dunlap, History of the Arts of Design in the United States, Vol. 
.1, p. 4'9- 



and that the said John Vanderlyn will continue in the service 
aforesaid, for the space of One Year from the date he arrived. 
In consideration whereof service and in full of all personal 
expences the said John Vanderlyn the sum of Five Hundred 
Dollars previous to his embarkation and to give him a credit 
of Two thousand Dollars in Italy to be expended in procur- 
ing the said Casts and Copies." Vanderlyn, though he had 
the best of intentions, did not live up to this contract, for he 



remained in England for some weeks before he crossed the 
Channel, and arriving in Paris took up his abode there, act- 
ing, as he wrote to John R. Murray, on the advice of Ben- 
jamin West, who assured him Paris was the best possible city 
in which to buy casts. Murray in reply exonerated him 
from blame for his delay, but urged a prompt compliance in 
future with the terms of the contract. A careful search has 
failed to reveal what casts were selected by Vanderlyn, 
though he sent some by the Brig Success. It is certain, 
however, that copies of four paintings: Veronese's Feast at 
the House of Levi, Titian's Scourging of Christ, Rubens' 



Elevation of the Cross, and Caravaggio's Entombing of 
Christ, were received from him. 

The arrival of the casts purchased by Livingston necessi- 
tated the use of some building for their exhibition. A struc- 
ture on Greenwich Street erected for a circus or riding school 
and known as the Pantheon 1 was hired, and the statuary was 
on public exhibition there, but at a financial loss, 2 from 1803 
to 1805, when the proprietor of the building intended taking 
it down. 

The Academy next accepted as a loan the upper part of the 
Government House facing Bowling Green, on the site of the 
present Custom House. 'The Government House was 
originally designed for the residence of Washington, then 
President of the United States, but as the Capital removed to 
Philadelphia, the house was never occupied by him. It then 
became the Government House, and was the residence of 
Governor George Clinton and John Jay, and f rom 1 799 to 1 8 1 5 
used for the Custom House." 3 At this same time John Wesley 
Jarvis, a brilliant, erratic painter, lived in the house, and 
Henry Inman was with him as an apprentice. Because of 
the demolition of the building in 1815 when it was succeeded 
by a handsome block of houses, this second exhibition hall 
was given up; the casts, of such great value to artists and 
students, were stowed away in obscurity in the store of 
Captain Farquhar on Vesey Street; and the institution 
which started with such high hopes, was almost forgotten. 

In 1816 the Academy was revived, largely through the in- 
fluence of DeWitt Clinton, then President, and the generous 

'An old deed locates its exact position as 100 feet south from the southwest 
corner of Rector and Greenwich streets, with a frontage of Si feet and a 
depth of 175 feet, running to high-water line, which is now Washington 
Street. The Circus its Origin and Growth prior to 1835, by Isaac J. 
Griswold, p. 92. 

-'Samuel Isham, History of American Painting, p. 186. 

; 'R. H. Kelby, New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 22. 





aid of Dr. David Hosack, who, "with his accustomed and 
laudable liberality applied to the Merchants' Bank for a 
loan of $1500, offering his own personal note with the en- 
dorsement of John Pintard, Esq., as a security for repay- 
ment." 1 This money was to be used to fit up new galleries 
in what was hereafter called the New York Institution, 
granted the Academy by the corporation for the yearly rent 
of one peppercorn, "if lawfully demanded." This building 
on the north side of City Hall Park, fronting Chambers 
Street, on the site of the present County Court House, was 
erected in 1795 for an almshouse, 2 but was empty in 1816, as 
"the paupers had been transferred to a palace at Bellevue." 3 
Upon the repeated application of the various scientific in- 
stitutions of the city the use of this structure had finally been 
granted them for ten years. Among the Academy's comrades 
in possession were the American Museum of John Scudder 
and the New York Historical Society. Fitz Greene Halleck 
in his Fanny, published in 1819, refers humorously to this 

" It remains 
To bless the hour the Corporation took it 

Into their heads to give the rich in brains, 
The worn-out mansion of the poor in pocket, 

Once the old almshouse, now a school of wisdom, 
Sacred to Scudder's shells and Dr. Griscom." 4 

'Report of a Committee of the American Academy of Fine Arts, in Secre- 
tary's Book, Vol. I. 

-Mr. Kelby's description of the building is as follows: "The edifice was 

. . 260 feet long by 44 broad, with two projections in front, 1 5 x 20 feet 
each, and was composed of brick, three stories high, with a basement, and 
with no claim to beauty." 

"Dunlap, II: 276. 

4 Dr. John Griscom was a highly esteemed Quaker physician, who de- 
livered lectures on chemistry in his office at the old almshouse. Stephen 
Jenkins, The Greatest Street in the World, p. 96. 



This same year (October 23d) DeWitt Clinton resigned and 
was succeeded as president by John Trumbull. The address 

**. 1- -?"- 

> If ... 


of the retiring president is a memorable one, as Cummings 
points out in these words: "This was probably the first 
address delivered before any Academy of Arts in the United 
States. It was delivered before the citizens of the first city 



in the first state of the Union, and it will not be objected to, 
that it should be said it was by the first man in the State." 
After discussing the origin, history, and uses of the fine arts, to 
show that such an institution as the American Academy was 
both desirable and practicable in New York, he pronounced 
a eulogy on Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton. What 
the men of his day thought of his speech may be seen in an 
article in The Columbian of October 24, 1816. 'Yesterday 
at the appointed hour, the City Hall was thronged with 
ladies and gentlemen, who flocked to hear the promised dis- 
sertation. The principal officers of the army, the members 
of the Academy, the Mayor and municipal officers, with the 
judges of the Supreme Court, were also present." In com- 
menting on the address itself, the editor continues : " Strong 
discrimination, exalted sentiment, purity of diction, and 
flashing imagery - - if we might use the expression char- 
acterized it throughout." 

The revived Academy planned for an exhibition this same 
autumn, as it was its first opportunity to carry out this part 
of its aim. An announcement placed in The Columbian of 
September 21, 1816, by its serious tone and carefully-phrased 
sentences reveals the personality of John Pintard, as well as 
the more formal advertising of his day: 

"All artists, foreign or native, both as professors and 
amateurs, are invited to contribute. As the funds of the in- 
stitution will be devoted to the establishment of schools for 
fostering genius and maturing talents from every clime, the 
Academy may confidently look up to a liberal patronage from 
a community who acknowledge a cultivation of the Fine Arts 
to be an additional polish to civilization, as well as the means 

'Cummings, Historic Annals of the National Academy of Design, pp. 7-8. 
The address may also be found there, as well as in pamphlet form at the 
New York Historical Society. 





of perpetuating whatever may be useful, virtuous and laud- 
able to society. 


The exhibition proved successful far beyond the expecta- 
tion of the officers. It contained the Lear, Ophelia, and 
Orlando, by West, lent by Mrs. Robert Fulton and later pur- 
chased by a special subscription, and Vanderlyn's Ariadne, 
" the first successful representation by an American artist of a 
mythological subject," 1 exhibited in London four years be- 
fore with great credit to the artist. The organization after 
a decade of struggle seemed to be on a firm footing. Among 
the prominent men enrolled as honorary members soon after 
1816 were Canova and Joseph Nollekens among sculptors, 
Martin Shee, then President of the Royal Academy, Wash- 
ington Allston, Henry Raeburn, and Thomas Lawrence. A 
sentence from Shee's letter of acceptance seems to express 
the feeling common among those thus honored: " I cannot 
but congratulate the friends of the Fine Arts in the United 
States on the formation of an Establishment for their cul- 
tivation in a Country where all the materials of greatness ap- 
pear to accumulate with a rapidity unexampled in the history 
of other nations. An early sense of the importance of the 
fine Arts amongst a people, is perhaps the most promising 
indication of general refinement, as well as the most certain 
pledge of future fame." 2 Nollekens, indulging in the florid 
style of the period, declares that it is peculiarly gratifying to 
him to be thus admitted into an Institution which discovers 
a just appreciation of the Fine Arts in the great Atlantic 
Empire; and to be allowed in consequence of this admission 
to regard himself "as a part, however small, of that majestic 

Frederic De Peyster, Biographical Sketch of Chancellor Livingston, 
p. 10. 

2 The manuscript may be seen in the Museum Library. 



State, which springing from the base of liberty, towers loftily 
in power amid the nations of the earth and is now by the cul- 
tivation of Literature and the Fine Arts arraying itself in 
Beaut}'." 1 Raeburn appreciated the honor so greatly that he 
sent to the new organization as his contribution a portrait 
of Vanbrugh Livingston, who was abroad at the time. 

The By-laws, passed December i8th, 1816, furnish enter- 
taining reading. For example, a part of Section X, Of the 
Exhibitions: "And be it further ordained, That there shall 
be two annual exhibitions in the gallery and chambers of the 
Academy, the one in the spring and the other in the fall. 
. . . All Artists of distinguished merit as Painters, Sculp- 
tors, and Designers, shall be permitted to exhibit their works. 
Amateurs in these arts shall be invited to expose, in the gal- 
lery of the Academy, any of their performances which may 
be thought worthy of the exhibition; and persons having in 
their possession pieces of sufficient merit, may be invited to 
contribute them for an exhibition. But no piece or subject 
for exhibition shall be received after the time which shall be 
mentioned in a notice, to be for that purpose published. 
Previous to each exhibition, a catalogue of the paintings, 
statues, busts, drawings, models, and engravings shall be 
published under the direction of the Keeper of the Academy. 
The price for entrance into the gallery of the Academy, to 
those who are not entitled to a free entrance, shall be twenty- 
five cents, to be paid to the Door-keeper; and the price of a 
catalogue, which shall be furnished by the Door-keeper 
when required, shall be twelve and a half cents." 

A part of Section XI, Of Entrance to the Gallery of the 
Academy, is amusing in its details. It reads, 'That all 
persons entitled to free admission, may receive from the 
Secretary or Keeper of the Academy, a metal pass or ticket, 

'Records of the American Academy of Fine Arts. These may be seen 
in the New York Historical Society. 



of such form and with such device as may be approved of by 
the Directors, for which the Secretary or Keeper shall be 
entitled to receive, for the funds of the Academy, from the 
person taking the same, the actual cost of the said pass or 
ticket. That the person receiving the same, shall have his 
or her name engraved thereon, and there shall also be en- 
graved thereon, the words 'Not transferable' . . . The 
exhibition of this metal pass to the Door-keeper, shall at all 
times be a sufficient passport for such person to the gallery 
of the Academy, when the said gallery is open for exhibition." 
In point of fact, exhibitions do not appear to have been 
held so frequently as twice each year, owing, it may be, to 
the scarcity of material to draw on or the difficulty of bring- 
ing together, twice annually, paintings sufficient in number 
to make a really attractive exhibit. It was scarcely to be 
expected that after 1826, when the National Academy of 
Design was established, the two academies could hold exhi- 
bitions with equal success, and presumably the younger 
academy with its membership of artists would have a de- 
cided advantage over the older organization. The cata- 
logues of the different exhibitions do not increase in size and 
interest, but rather decline. For example, an exhibition in 
1817 contains 252 paintings and miniatures, besides sculpture, 
while the sixteenth annual exhibition, held in 1835, has only 
92 entries, paintings and sculpture combined; and what is 
true of numbers is also true, to some extent, of the character 
of the works exhibited. According to an advertisement in 
the New York Evening Post even as late as December 11, 
1835, we learn that the sixteenth annual exhibition "will 
open to the publick about the loth of November, by which 
time the sidewalk of Mr. Astor's Hotel will be laid down." 
Was it, perchance, the sidewalk that caused the delay, or the 
scarcity of pictures? 

The year 1816, then, stands as the high-water mark of the 



Academy's activity and influence. Succeeding exhibitions, 
though they included paintings of merit - - the most highly 
valued being Lawrence's full-length portrait of Benjamin 
West, obtained by a number of gentlemen for the Academy 
by a subscription of $2,000 did not win great popular in- 
terest; in fact, the daily attendance was not large enough to 
pay the doorkeeper's salary. Several of John Trumbull's 
works, among them his Suffer Little Children and Woman 
Taken in Adultery, were purchased, but the debt for them 
was not paid until years later and then only by return of the 

In addition to the regular exhibitions, occasionally some 
one picture was advertised in glowing terms as a special at- 
traction. The following notice, in the New York Evening 
Post for March 6, 1826, may stand as representative of these 

"EXHIBITION at the gallery of the Academy of Fine 
Arts, of the splendid picture representing the great corona- 
tion of the Emperor Napoleon, in the Cathedral at Paris, by 
the celebrated painter, David. The size of the picture is 
750 square feet. The Emperor is represented placing the 
crown on the head of the Empress Josephine. His family, 
Pope Pius VII, the Cardinals, the Ambassadors, and the 
principal characters of the Imperial Court, are all represented 
with the rich costumes they were decorated with on the day 
of the ceremony." 

The chroniclers of the Academy history, Dunlap and Cum- 
mings, discuss its failure to accomplish its high aims; but 
as academicians of the National Academy of Design they 
were liable to prejudice and partisanship, and especially 
hostile to John Trumbull. Cummings gives two reasons 
for the American Academy's failure: the unchangeableness 
in its exhibitions, which were not suited to a novelty-seeking 



public, and John Trumbull's opposition to the opening of 
schools. At one time the casts were open to students for 
copying in summer from six to eight o'clock in the morning; 
at another, from six to nine o'clock. But, according to Cum- 
mings, when the student's zeal had led him to early rising, 
he found many times that the keeper, not sharing the same 
stimulus, had overslept. One fatal morning when Messrs. 
Cummings and Agate were thus disappointed, Mr. Trumbull 
coming along learned of their plight, but only to remark, as 
Dunlap records his words, "These young men should re- 
member that the gentlemen have gone to a great expense in 
importing casts, and that they (the students) have no prop- 
erty in them. They must remember that beggars are not 
to be choosers." 1 Certainly such words might well sound the 
death knell of practical usefulness for any institution. 

After the National Academy of Design in 1826 established 
a school, the Directors of the American Academy tried to 
retrieve their early failure with the students, but pitiful is 
the contrast between their great hopes and trifling accom- 
plishment. At three different times, in 1826, 1829, and 1839, 
special advertisements were put in the newspapers, offering 
opportunity for students to use the gallery certain evenings, 
with "lights, fuel, and the necessary accommodations fur- 
nished at the expense of the Academy." That the directors 
expected a throng of applicants, among them boisterous 
spirits, is shown by the rules for the students engrossed on 
the minutes in 1826: 

" If any be guilty of idleness or improper behaviour in the 
School, and do not quietly submit to the Rules and orders 
which shall from time to time be established for their regula- 
tion; or shall not behave with proper respect and civility to 
the Officers of the Academy, it shall be the duty of the Keeper, 
Secretary or other Officer, witnessing such misconduct, to 

, 1 1, p. 280. 



report the same to the Board of Directors at their next meet- 
ing; and they in their discretion shall reprimand, rusticate 
or expel the Offender; and any Student who shall be expelled 
for misconduct, shall never be readmitted to the privileges 
of the Academy. 

" During the time they are drawing, all the Students shall 
observe silence; endeavoring to do their work quietly, in- 
dustriously and without making dirt in the room, by scatter- 
ing or trampling on chalk, or otherwise; and when they have 
finished the work of the day, each one shall put away his 
drawing, paper and materials carefully and neatly." 

No such crowd of eager applicants besieged their doors; 
the students were but a scattering few. In 1830, four years 
later, the President and members rejoiced over even a modi- 
cum of success, the record reading thus: 

"The President submitted for examination, Two Drawings 
executed by young gentlemen in the Gallery of Sculpture 
under his inspection; and reported verbally that from fifteen 
to twenty others had attended, since the Gallery was opened 
for evening study, with great zeal and various success; none 
of them however had quite completed drawings, which they 
were disposed to submit at present, to the examination of the 
Board. Whereupon the following Resolution was unani- 
mously adopted. The Board of Directors of the American 
Academy of the Fine Arts, having seen and examined two 
drawings, lately executed from the Statue of Germanicus in 
the Gallery of the Sculpture, . . . feel it to be their duty 
to express the satisfaction they have had in viewing these 
the first fruits of regular study under their protection -- and 
have no hesitation in adding . . . that they fully expect 
to have in their power, the pleasing duty of offering a vote 
of approbation to other young gentlemen." 

Samuel F. B. Morse, later the first president of the National 
Academy of Design, in a most interesting manuscript which 



he called Remarks on the bad tendency of the American 
Academy previous to the formation of the National Academy, 
discussed what he called the "essential error" of the Ameri- 
can Academy as follows: 'The Academy needs new model- 
ing; its defects must be looked at not for the purpose of 
finding fault, but to devise and apply a proper remedy; its 
evils have grown out of its very constitution, in creating it a 
stockholding institution; as any one can be a member by 
paying twenty-five dollars, and thus be entitled to vote, 
at the election of President, Vice President, and Directors, 
which Directors are composed not of Artists only or even of 
a majority of artists, but of men highly respectable and intel- 
ligent in other professions, but whose professions must chiefly 
or entirely engross their minds. This circumstance has a 
natural tendency to create want of confidence in the minds 
of Artists, and it has created it." In a letter to De Wit f 
Clinton, written in 1826, the same point is made very plainly. 

'The American Academy of Fine Arts was undoubtedly 
formed with the best intentions towards the Fine Arts and 
its professors; it was formed on different principles (perhaps 
necessarily) from any Academy of Arts in the world. The 
Pennsylvania Academy of Arts was afterwards formed on 
similar principles; they differ from other Academies in this 
essential particular, that Artists have the direction in all 
European Academies, while in our Academies Artists are in 
the minority. Our Academies may therefore be looked upon 
as experiments, and the similarity of results in Philadelphia 
and in this city has proved that there is something radically 
wrong in their constitution." 

Still a different statement of the reason for the Academy's 
failure is given by John Durand 1 in his John Trumbull. 

'The truth is, that in his connexion with the American 

J John Durand, John Trumbull, Boston, 1881, quoted in Life and Times of 
A. B. Durand, p. 27. 





Academy of the Fine Arts . . . Trumbull was trying 
to make water run up hill. The difficulty between him and 
the artists who seceded from that institution was not so much 
due to him as to a condition beyond his control. The plan 
of the American Academy (was) not adapted to this country 
or manageable by directors taken from the non-professional 
classes. The public at that time cared very little about art; 
there were few artists, and the judgment of stockholders, 
whose authority in the institution grew out of the money 
they paid for their shares, did not fulfil the same ends as the 
more intelligent patronage of a king and the support of a 
cultivated aristocracy. Colonel Trumbull was familiar with 
the foreign condition of things, and the mistake he made was 
in supposing that a kindred institution could be at once 
established in an entirely new country. The American 
Academy of the Fine Arts, accordingly, is simply a forerunner 
of similar attempts that have utterly failed or proved abor- 
tive through a similar misconception of means in relation to 

Upon the dissolution of the Academy in 1841, its records 
were given to the New York Historical Society by Alexander 
J. Davis, the last Secretary. These contain the concluding 
chapter of its history. In 1831 the City Corporation had 
not seen fit longer to give homes to the various literary and 
scientific institutions in the New York Institution. This 
result had been imminent for several years. In 1826 at an 
Anniversary Banquet of the Academy the following toast 
had been offered : " The Honorable Corporation of the City 
of New York: They have given to our academies, scientific 
and literary institutions, for the present, 'a local habitation 
and their name'; may they do honour to themselves by mak- 
ing the shelter a gift." Compelled to seek new quarters, 
the directors entered into a contract with Dr. David Hosack 
for building a gallery in Barclay Street, occupying a part of 



the ground now covered by the Astor House. 1 Here as else- 
where the institution continued dormant. 

A circular issued in March, 1839, to give notification to 

the public of certain resolutions passed by the directors. 

seems to have been a last vain bid for popularity. The 

resolutions are as follows: 

"Resolved, That the room, No. 8, Barclay-street, hereto- 



fore occupied by Col. Trumbull be, and the same is hereby- 
set apart as a perpetual Exhibition Room for Artists; for the 
Academician Pictures, Books, and other property of the 
Academy suitable for an Academical Studio; and that said 
Room be also used as a place of meeting for all or any pur- 
poses tending to promote the interests of the Fine Arts. 

'That the Rev. Clergy, Editors of public press, and all 
persons engaged in education, be, and are hereby invited to 
frequent said Academical Studio, in order to become the 
better acquainted with the state and progress of the Fine 

'John Sartain, Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, p. 140. 


Arts in our Emporium, and to circulate information to the 

" Resolved, That an Antique School be opened for Students 
in the Sculpture Gallery, on the evenings of Tuesday, Thurs- 
day, and Saturday in each week, from seven to nine o'clock, 
under the inspection of Visitors, to be chosen from time to 
time by the Academy." 

The Keeper's Book records that in April, 1839, a fire oc- 
curred in the library of the Academy, which consumed many 
of the books and prints, especially the case of Piranesi pre- 
sented by Napoleon Bonaparte, and damaged the paintings. 
" Such was the apathy of the stockholders and the neglect of 
the artists that no measures were taken to revive the energies 
of the Academy. Rents accumulating, the property was 
^yielded to the lawful trust of the President and Treasurer, 
and much of the same returned to the donors. The remain- 
ing effects, together with the portrait of West, were sold to 
pay debts. (About $2,400 was due Dr. Hosack's heirs for 
rent.) The portrait went to the Wadsworth Athenaeum, 
Hartford." The casts were sold to the National Academy of 
Design for $400, and remained in use in the Academy's 
school until they were almost all destroyed by fire in 

Mr. Davis, ignoring the Academy's comparative lack of 
success, dismisses the entire subject with a complacent state- 
ment, "The object of the founders had been fulfilled; the 
casts had been obtained; the schools had been established 
through their instrumentality, and the Arts were placed in 
the keeping of the great body of Artists." Although from 
the vantage point of the twentieth century we cannot agree 
with every clause of this valedictory, we can at least recog- 
nize that John Trumbull and his associates in the Academy 
had given an initial impetus to the progress of art in this city, 
setting in motion forces still operative and inaugurating 



methods of museum administration in use today. For their 
work as pioneers they merit grateful appreciation. 






'- ^ 

' ' i *'<* 




This organization deserves a place among institutions 
promoting the interests of art in New York City, both be- 
cause of the valuable collections deposited within its walls 



today and because of several pages in its history that are 
unmistakably a part of the history of art in the city. This 
account is confined to those incidents. 

John Pintard, for some years Secretary of the American 
Academy, the first to agitate the free school system, a man 
unusually gifted as a leader, originated the plan for the 
organization of this institution, the principal design of which 
is to "collect and preserve whatever may relate to the natural, 
civil, or ecclesiastical history of the United States in general, 
and of this state in particular," 1 Egbert Benson, a distin- 
guished judge and devoted patriot, became its first president. 
At least two of its founders, DeWitt Clinton, the noted 
jurist, and Dr. David Hosack, the eminent educator, were 
prominent in the American Academy of the Fine Arts. By 
invitation of the Academy in 1809, the society occupied a 
room in the Government House, and in 1816 was a neighbor 
of the Academy in the New York Institution. 

In fact, John Pintard three years earlier had suggested the 
plan of setting aside one city building, either the Almshouse 
or the Bridewell, for the common occupancy of the literary 
and scientific institutions, in a letter dated August 28, 1812, 
and addressed to the Mayor, DeWitt Clinton. That public- 
spirited man, however, devoted as he was to the American 
Academy and the Historical Society, observed that the re- 
quest was "too impudent to be submitted to the Corpora- 
tion." A spirit of daring is shown in John Pintard's mem- 
orable letter. Referring to the war which the country was 
then waging, he wrote, " It may be urged that this is not the 
moment for such great enterprizes - - That our City is para- 
lyzed by the present times --and that little encouragement 
can be expected for the promotion of literary establishments 

- True - - Inter Arma, Silent Leges - - But we have a right, 

'R. H. Kelby, The New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 2. 
2 R. H. Kelby, The New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 25. 




Auspice Teucro, to hope for better times, and it may be 
proper to anticipate any other applications respecting the 
public buildings. For this purpose a respectful Memorial 
will be shortly presented to the Corporation." 

When this memorial from "sundry Literary Societies" was 
laid before the Common Council in May, 1814, its committee 
took a full year to draw up what its members deemed a suit- 
able report, recommending in most flowery words the granting 
of the petition. '.'Would not a garden spot, in which the 
young plants of science might be cultivated,, be a suitable & 
delectable first fruit offering to the Goddess of Peace?" they 
asked. "With considerable success they (the petitioners) 
have already planted and nourished several; and if the culti- 
vation is only moistened with your friendly dew, these young 
trees will ere long exhibit a luxuriance and spread into a 
grove of science, under the shade of which your men of genius 
may securely repose." 1 So the "constellation of science," as 
these grandiloquent gentlemen phrased it, began "to illum- 
inate our hemisphere." 

During the first fifty years of the Historical Society's ex- 
istence, the members had "acquired a small collection of por- 
traits, and proposed (in 1856) to enlarge and extend their Art 
Collections, with a view of providing a public gallery of art 
in this city." This aim was greatly strengthened when on 
June 22, 1858, the entire collection of the New York Gallery 
was transferred to the Historical Society and deposited in 
perpetuity in its rooms. According to the agreement, signed 
by Jonathan Sturges, to whose hearty cooperation the Society 
was greatly indebted for this valuable addition to its artistic 
treasures, and John Durand, for the New York Gallery, and 
Luther Bradish and Andrew Warner for the Historical 

'Quoted in The History of the New York Society Library, by Austin B. 
Keep, pp. 294 and 296. 

-R. H. Kelby, The New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 52. 



Society, the Society was to preserve the collection in good 
order, provide a suitable gallery for its "reception, safe- 
keeping, and proper exhibition," and admit all members of 
the Gallery free upon presentation of their Gallery tickets. 
Appended to the agreement is a list of the works of art in the 
collection : seventy-nine paintings and miniatures, three pieces 
of statuary, and about two hundred and fifty engravings. 1 




The next year Mr. James Lenox presented to the Society the 
Nineveh Sculptures, consisting of thirteen reliefs representing 
winged and eagle-headed human figures and the sacred tree, 
and in 1860 some generous citizens secured for the Society 
the Abbott Collection of Egyptian Antiquities, collected by 
Dr. Henry Abbott during a residence of twenty years in 
Cairo, and for several years exhibited in the Stuyvesant In- 
stitute on Broadway, above Bleecker Street, with an admis- 
sion price of twenty-five cents. This is a really remarkable 

'See Page 67. 



collection which includes objects of great interest, such as 
three mummies of the Sacred Bull Apis, and a gold necklace 
and ear-rings stamped with the name of Menes, the first 
Pharaoh of Egypt, who reigned 2750 years before Christ. 
Thus within three years the Historical Society came into the 
possession of a valuable nucleus for a large public gallery of 

"The Society was the first to formulate a plan to establish 
a museum and art gallery for the public in Central Park." 1 
The action of the Executive Committee, August 14, 1860, 
reads as follows: 

" Whereas, The position and character of the building 
known as the New York State Arsenal, near the southeastern 
corner of Central Park, point it out as a proper location for a 
grand museum of antiquities, science, and art: 

"And, Whereas, There appears to be no existing institution 
whose present collections and prospects for future acquisi- 
tions seem more suitable to the occasion than this Society, 
the recent and prospective increase of whose museum and 
gallery of art already indicates the rapidly approaching ne- 
cessity of a more ample provision for their accommo- 

" Therefore, mindful of their relations and duties to the 
citizens of New York, who have so liberally sustained all 
their efforts to place upon an enduring foundation the estab- 
lishment of this Society as a public institution, whose collec- 
tions in all departments may be accessible to all classes of the 
community, subject only to such regulations as may be 
essential for security and preservation, and anticipating 
cordial and universal approbation : 

" Resolved, That a Committee of five members, of which the 
president of the Society shall be a member and requested to 
act as Chairman, be appointed to take such preliminary 
'New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 53. 



measures as may be advisable, with a view to securing the 
State Arsenal and adjoining ground in the Central Park 
for the museum of the Society." 

R. H. Kelby's account of the further proceedings may well 
be quoted entire. "An act to improve Central Park was 
passed by the Legislature, March 25, 1862, authorizing the 
Commissioner to set apart and appropriate to the Society 


the building known as the New York State Arsenal, with 
such grounds adjoining as the Commissioners may determine 
necessary for the purpose of establishing and maintaining by 
the Society a museum of antiquities and science and a gallery 
of art. Efforts to secure the necessary funds for the promo- 
tion of the plan failed." * 

At the Arsenal, or Central Park Museum, as Tuckerman 
calls it, were already stored no less than eighty-seven plaster 

J New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 34. 



casts of Thomas Crawford's works, presented to the Park 
Commissioners by Louisa W. Crawford, and his Flora, pre- 
sented by R. K. Haight. "In 1866 . . . the Comptroller was 
authorized to put the brick building formerly used for a con- 
vent chapel (of the Mt. St. Vincent buildings at McGown's 
Pass) in order for use as a statuary gallery and museum." 1 
The Mt. St. Vincent buildings served manifold purposes, 
ministering "to the appetites of those who visited these then 
remote parts" by a refreshment-house known as Stetson's 
Hotel and to their finer sensibilities through a temple of art. 
Great hopes were built upon this venture, but when the 
building was destroyed by fire January 2, 1881, the statuary 
was carried to the Arsenal building and there stored. 

To continue the records of the Historical Society, "In 
consequence of the low ground and the proximity of the 
reservoir near the Arsenal Building, the Society urged a 
change to higher ground in the Park. The Legislature passed 
an act, April' 29, 1868, setting apart for the use of the Society 
a site in the Park, covering Eighty-first to Eighty-fourth 
Streets, three hundred feet west of Fifth Avenue, the build- 
ing to be erected at the expense of the Society. 

" Renewed efforts were made in 1870 to carry out the plan 
of the Society to establish a museum of history, antiquities, 
and art, by the erection of a building on the new site in the 
Park; but owing to the great cost of the proposed building, 
and the erection of the same on city property, the scheme 
was finally abandoned." To all interested in the history of 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art these facts have a peculiar 
interest, for 1870 was the very year of the incorporation of 
the Museum, and in 1871 the Legislature passed an act pro- 
viding $500,000 for the erection of a building for the Museum 

'American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, Sixteenth Annual 
Report, p. 4^. 

-New York Historical Society, 1804-1904, p. 55. 



within Central Park or some other of the public land belong- 
ing to the City. It was difficult for the journals of the day 
to predict which project would prosper. An article in the 
Home Journal for April 20, 1870, discussing the prospects of 
the venerable Historical Society and the youthful Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, sums up the status of the former in 
these words, " Here is a collection in posse many times larger 
and more valuable than that of the British Museum. Noth- 
ing remains to be done for its completion but the simple 
transferring in essc. The process is the simplest imaginable. 
Given the requisite funds, and we have an art museum equal 
to our highest demands, representing all the masterpieces 
and products of every age and school ; a grand art-focus of the 
continent, attracting genius, talent, and taste from the re- 
motest regions, and irradiating all with its refining, inspiring 
influences. The charter and the grant of a site for the 
institution in the Central Park, have long been in the pos- 
session of the Historical Society, and everything is now ready 
for the supplementary movement." 

Two more gifts of importance have greatly increased the 
treasures in the Historical Society's building; one, the Bryan 
Collection, numbering two hundred and fifty pictures, given 
by Mr. Thomas J. Bryan in 1867; the other, one hundred and 
fifty paintings, an admirable supplement in character to the 
Bryan Collection, bequeathed in 1882 by Mr. Louis Durr, a 
gold and silver refiner, who had been a devoted student from 
boyhood of the old schools of painting. The earlier collec- 
tion, gathered as a labor of love by Mr. Bryan during many 
years of foreign residence, was for some time arranged on the 
walls of a spacious room in a house on Broadway at the corner 
of Thirteenth Street. The guide books of the day call this 
the Bryan Gallery of Christian Art. It was a public gallery, 
for admission to which a fee of twenty-five cents was charged. 
It was well worth seeing, as it contained among other inter- 



esting paintings several Italian works of the Trecento, a 
Rembrandt portrait, a portrait by Van Dyck, and a Last 
Judgment by Lucas Van Leyden. Contemporary writers 
refer to the delight of seeing Mr. Bryan, a charming old 
gentleman with snowy hair and florid complexion, in pic- 
turesque robe and velvet cap, seated in an old-fashioned arm- 
chair in his gallery like a venerable burgomaster of Holland 
or a merchant prince of Florence surrounded by his treasures. 
His was a life of leisure and affluence which was redeemed 
from mere pleasure seeking and given aim and worth by an 
absorbing love of art. Finding it impossible to insure his 
collection, exposed as the paintings were, without great ex- 
pense, he deposited them for a time in the Cooper Union and 
then gave them to the Historical Society. 

A delightful little volume, called Companion to the Bryan 
Gallery of Christian Art, 1 and written by the eminent es- 
sayist and Shakesperian scholar, Richard Grant White, was 
published by Baker, Godwin & Co. in 1853. This truly 
literary catalogue states in the preface, 'This gallery has 
in its historical character an importance not possessed by 
any other ever opened to the public in this country. The rise 
and progress of each of the great schools, the Italian, the 
German, the Flemish, the Dutch, and the French, can be 
traced by characteristic productions of those schools in all 
the stages of their development, which hang upon these walls. 
This peculiarity of the collection is almost of equal impor- 
tance with the intrinsic beauty and excellence of a large por- 
tion of the works which compose it. ... The author 
declines to express any opinion upon the authenticity of the 
many pictures here which bear some of the greatest names in 
art; but he wishes it to be understood that he does this solely 

'Printed with the proceedings of the New York Historical Society on the 
announcement of the death of Thomas J. Bryan, June, 1870. This catalogue 
may be found in the Museum Library. 



on account of his entire want of confidence in his ability to 
speak with the least authority upon that subject. , . . 
Mr. Bryan has bought and cleaned his pictures himself; and 
of those which he thus laboriously brought to light, he has 
rejected six for every one which now hangs upon his walls. 
But . . . the author would not do himself justice, to 
say nothing of justice to the collection and its proprietor, did 
he not state that his confidence in the correctness v/ith which 
the works have been attributed to the various masters whose 
names they bear, as well as his admiration for the intrinsic 
beauty of most of them, and his interest in the collection as a 
whole, has increased pan passu, with his study of the paint- 



This well-established organization of eighty-five years' 
existence was the outgrowth of an earlier Drawing Associa- 
tion, which was started upon the suggestion of Samuel F. 
B. Morse, an artist as well as a scientist, " For the Promotion 
of the Arts and the Assistance of Students," in other words, a 
simple organization for mutual improvement in drawing 
formed by a few young men, mere boys many of them must 
have seemed to the honorable gentlemen of the older academy. 
Morse, wishing to reconcile the petty dissensions of the 
artists, invited a number of them to his room one evening, 
"ostensibly to eat strawberries and cream, but really to be- 
guile them into something like agreeable intercourse." 1 This 
gathering was the forerunner of many meetings of the Draw- 
ing Association. The organization was effected on the 
eighth of November, 1825, in the rooms of the Historical 
Society in the New York Institution. Its members, thirty 
in number, included such familiar names as Henry Inman, 
A. B. Durand, Thomas S. Cummings, later its historian, 
'Tuckerman, p 167. 



William Dunlap, C. C. Ingham, and Thomas Cole. Among 
its simple rules were found these: "That its members 
should meet in the evening, three times a week, for 
drawing. That each member furnish his own drawing 
material. That the expense of light, fuel, etc. be paid by 
equal contributions. That new members should be ad- 
mitted on a majority vote-- paying five dollars entrance 
fee. That the lights should be lighted at six and extin- 
guished at nine o'clock p. m." 1 

Not long after the organization of the association, Colonel 
Trumbull, with the stately dignity becoming a gentleman 
of the Old School, entered the room where the members were 
drawing, took the president's chair as belonging to him, and 
with authority asked all present to sign the matriculation 
book of the American Academy, thus enrolling as students of 
that institution. This they refused to do, not considering 
themselves under the Academy's tuition. Great was the 
indignation expressed, and the suggestion of forming a rival 
academy was immediately made. The association, however, 
really desired a union with the academy could the artists 
obtain such a share in the direction of the academy as they 
deemed necessary for the welfare of the institution. 

This statement is borne out by the writings of John In- 
man, brother of Henrylnman, who under the name of Boydell 
published letters in the Morning Courier, and by the words 
of Samuel F. B. Morse, than whom surely no one knew better 
the full details of the early history of the National Academy 
of Design. In the letter to DeWitt Clinton previously 
quoted, Mr. Morse wrote, "In the last autumn they (the 
artists) were accidentally (I may say) associated together as 
a Drawing Association; groundless suspicion was entertained 
of their views by some of the Board of Directors of the Acad- 
emy of Fine Arts, which has at length resulted in creating the 

'Cummings, p. 22. 





very object of their suspicions, I mean a new academy of 
arts. Ever}' effort was made on our part to prevent this 
result; amicable negociation was entered into between the 
Artists and the American Academy of Fine Arts. It was 
mutually agreed that the whole plan of the Academy should 
be revised by the next Board of Directors; we were promised 
six artists in the Board; the Artists unitedly bore the expence 
of $100 to make four of those who were to represent them 
eligible according to a rule of the Academy; the whole busi- 
ness therefore turned on the election or non-election of the six 
artists representatives. The election took place and two only 
of the six were chosen; the Artists were therefore rejected 
from the Institution. It was our intention to have published 
all the proceedings which led to this result. But wishing to 
avoid everything like controversy, we came to the determina- 
tion of forming a new academy of arts according to our own 
views; and, leaving the gentlemen of the Academy of Fine 
Arts to manage their Institution, direct all our energies to the 
building up of our own." 

Several times during the ensuing years union was suggested 
and committees appointed, but without success. One passage 
of arms from the New York American of May, 1826, illustrates 
the strained relations between the two organizations. At the 
anniversary banquet of the American Academy, a member 
gave the following toast: "The recent association of living 
artists: May their works survive them." A few days 
afterwards The American published a rhyming letter from A 
Living Artist which showed plainly how the shaft rankled. 
The following day the member of the American Academy, 
signing himself A Doctor and Director, retorted that as his 
first complimentary wish had not been pleasing, he would 
change it to one more likely of fulfilment: "May a Living 
Artist survive his works." In all the wrangling between the 
older and the younger organization, Morse, though of neces- 



sity drawn into the arena to defend his brethren, appears to 
most excellent advantage, acting with tact, courtesy, and 
fairness. Trumbull, on the other hand, shows plainly a feeling 
of wounded dignity and injured pride. 

In 1826, on the \gth of January, the New York Drawing 
Association became the National Academy of Design, "The 
first institution in the country established by and under 
the exclusive control and management of the professional 
artists." 1 The name was carefully chosen. The adjective 
National was used because any less inclusive word would be 
inferior to American, the word employed by the older Academy. 
The arts of design were understood to be painting, sculpture, 
architecture, and engraving, just what this new academy was 
concerned with; whereas the fine arts, the members con- 
sidered, included poetry, music, and other arts. On April 
5, 1828, the new organization was formally incorporated by 
the State. According to Mr. Morse's plan adopted by the 
association, fifteen professional artists from its membership 
were chosen as members of the new Academy, these men to 
elect not more than fifteen others to be associated with them 
as members. Upon this body devolved the control of the 
National Academy of Design. Samuel F. B. Morse was 
chosen President. 

The greater glory of Morse as a scientist has dimmed the 
lesser glory as an artist. These annals recall a fact easily 
forgotten, that Morse devoted to art over thirty years of 
his life, from his graduation at Yale to about 1844. He 
studied in London with Allston and when but twenty-four 
years old obtained a gold medal for a statue, The Dying 
Hercules, his first attempt at modeling, sent to the Adelphi 
Society of Art. 

The new academy immediately made plans for its first ex- 
hibition, which was held " in a room in the second story of a 

'Cummings, p. 5. 



house on the southeast corner of Broadway and Reade 
Streets; an ordinary dwelling, and not covering an area of 
more than 25 x 50 feet, with no other than the usual side 
windows. It was open from 9 a. m. to 10 p. m., and 'lighted 
with gas.' The gas consisted of two-light ordinary branch 
burners -- six lights in all, for the whole exhibition." 1 The 
total number of objects exhibited - - paintings, drawings, 
engravings-- was one hundred and seventy-nine. Among 
the exhibitors, all of whom were American artists, we are 
surprised to find the name of John Trumbull, who was 
represented by a portrait of a lady. The catalogue bears 
on the title-page the suggestive motto from Thomson, 

"Ours are the plans of peace, 
To live like brothers, and conjunctive all, 
Embellish life." 

This first effort was ushered in with due ceremony at a 
private opening by invitation, at which were present "His 
Excellency Governor Clinton and suite, his Honor the Mayor, 
the Common Council of the City, the Judges of the Courts, 
the Faculty of Columbia College, the members of the Ameri- 
can Academy of Fine Arts, and persons of distinction at 
' present residing in the city.' ' The members of the'Academy 
of Design appeared "with a white rosette in their button- 

Financially the exhibition was not wholly successful, a 
deficit having been met by an assessment upon the members. 
Even this first exhibition was limited to the works of living 
artists; that present day artists might have unlimited oppor- 
tunity, no Old Masters might apply. For the second exhi- 
bition the works of living artists only, not before exhibited 
by the Academy of Design, were accepted, and by the third 

^ummings, pp. 34, 35. 




exhibition another restriction was added, that none but 
original works should be exhibited. Yet a member of the 
National Academy could write to John Neagle of the Phila- 
delphia Academy in 1828, "Our exhibition this year far sur- 
passes our former exhibitions, and it is furnishing us with 
funds for future operations." 

The schools were opened the first year in the rooms of the 
Philosophical Society with some forty students and two 
lecturers, Dr. F. G. King on Anatomy, also appointed a lec- 
turer (in 1825) of the American Academy, and Charles B. 
Shaw, Esq. on Perspective. To pay running expenses, each 
student was expected to subscribe $5.00. At the end of the 
season Mr. Morse addressed the students in the Chapel of 
Columbia College - - the old building on Church Street, op- 
posite Park Place, no longer standing - - taking this oppor- 
tunity to review the history of Academies of Art in Europe, 
" to show," as he himself said, " what constituted an Academy 
of Arts, and thus to dispel the prevailing erroneous impression 
of their nature." His definition was this: "An Academy of 
Arts is an Association of Artists for the purposes of Instruc- 
tion and Exhibition." "We never saw an audience more 
fully gratified," comments the New York American for May 

4, 1827- 

Among the lecturers of the National Academy School in 
succeeding years was William Cullen Bryant, who read to the 
classes five lectures on mythology in December, 1827, which 
were repeated in 1828, 1829, and 1831. Cummings char- 
acterizes these lectures as follows: "Early history simpli- 
fied - - viewed with originality, and pronounced on and filled 
with a fervid poetic fire, that interested all." 1 Bryant's 
interest in the Academy of Design, of which he was an Honor- 
ary Member, is attested by two other facts: in 1848 he de- 
livered a eulogy on Thomas Cole before the Academy; in 

Cummings, p. 125. 



1865 he gave the inaugural address at the opening of the 
new building of the Academy on the corner of Twenty-third 
Street and Fourth Avenue. 

In passing, we might note that the first course of lectures 
on the fine arts read in America was delivered by Samuel F. 
B. Morse before crowded and enthusiastic audiences at the 
New York Athenaeum 1 and repeated to the students and 
academicians of the Academy of Design. 

Two excerpts from Morse's letters to his parents in 1826 
contain delightfully frank references to these lectures. The 
first, written on New Year's day, reads, " I am much en- 
gaged in my lectures, have completed two nearly; and hope 
to get through the four in season for my turn at the Athe- 
naeum. These lectures are of great importance to me, for if 
well done, they place me alone among the Artists, I being the 
only one who has as yet written a course of lectures in our 
country; time bestowed on them, therefore, is not misspent, 
for they will acquire me reputation which will yield wealth, 
as Mother I hope will live to see." The other, dated April 
26th, reviews his accomplishment with becoming modesty 
but evident pleasure. 'The pressure of my lectures became 
very great towards the close of them, and I was compelled to 
bend my whole attention to their completion. 1 did not 
expect, when I delivered my first, that I should be able to 
give more than two, but the importance of going through 
seemed greater as I advanced, and I was strengthened to 

J This institution was established in 1824 and merged in the New York 
Historical Library in 1838. " Its object was to furnish opportunity for the 
highest culture, and to advance science, art and literature. It consisted of 
resident and honorary members, the former either associates, patrons, gov- 
ernors or subcribers; the funds were to be derived from the contributions of 
these four classes, $200 constituting a patron, f 100 a governor, and lesser 
sums associates and subscribers. Its library was to comprise, when com- 
plete, all the standard elementary works of science and literature of every 
age and nation. Monthly lectures were open to both ladies and gentlemen." 
- Mrs. Lamb, History of the City of New York, Vol. 1 1, p. 705. 



accomplish the whole number; and, if I can judge from vari- 
ous indications, I think 1 have been successful. My audience 
(consisting of the most fashionable society in the city) reg- 
ularly increased at each successive lecture, and at the last 
it was said that 1 had the largest audience ever assembled in 
the room." 

As it has been the writer's privilege to read the manuscript 
of these lectures, which appear not to have been printed, a 
brief synopsis of them seems desirable here. The aim of the 
course, called The Affinity of Painting with the other Fine 
Arts, was to examine the claims of painting to a place among 
the fine arts. This was done in a thoroughly logical fashion. 
The fine arts were defined as those arts the principal aim of 
which is to please the imagination. The principles of nature 
on which the fine arts are based were discussed in detail in 
their application to each art. Painting was then discovered 
to have the same aim and to be subject to the same laws as 
the fine arts. Therefore its place among the fine arts was 

Several incidents in the history of the Academy of Design 
are of special interest in the light of the more recent develop- 
ment of institutions of art. For example, it was announced 
in 1834 that "a School of Ornament for industrial art pur- 
poses would be added" 1 to the privileges offered by the 
Academy. This excellent opportunity, however, met with 
no response. It was left for Cooper Union twenty-five years 
later to develop this line of work. An art library was started 
in 1838, for the benefit of Academy members. In 1844 "was 
inaugurated a very highly proper, advantageous, educational 
measure-- invitation to all Schools to visit the Exhibition. 
It was done by card, procurable on application." Three 
years later nearly six thousand pupils of the schools of the 
city were reported as availing themselves of this privilege, 

'Cummings, p. 134. 



not a bad showing for the size of the city, approximately 
four hundred thousand. 

The National Academy since its organization in 1826 had 
rented various and sundry rooms for its schools and exhibi- 
tions. The need for a permanent home became increasingly 
evident. From 1849, when the Academy purchased the 
property, No. 663 Broadway, opposite Bond Street, known 


as the " Brower's Stables", to 1865, when the first home of 
the Academy at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Twenty- 
third Street, its own building, was completed and occupied, 
the officers bent much of their energy to finding a desirable 
site and erecting a commodious and attractive building for 
the work of the Academy. Site after site was found unsuit- 
able. For example, the lots on Twenty-fifth Street between 
Broadway and Fifth Avenue were "deemed too far uptown." 
The desire to create in this new edifice a building that 



should be beautiful as well as convenient led to the establish- 
ment in 1863 of a Fellowship to the National Academy. Thus 
the Academy for the first time made an appeal to the general 
public, and admitted to membership those not belonging to 
the fraternity of artists, but they avoided the fatal error of 
the American Academy by giving the Fellows no share in the 
management. By the plan, the Fellowship Fund should be 
"devoted to perfecting the building, sustaining the schools, 
and generally advancing the interest of the Academy." A 
subscriber of $100 was to be constituted a Fellow for Life 
and entitled to the following privileges: "ten season tickets 
to the Exhibition annually, access to the Library and Reading 
Rooms, and invitations to all Conversations held at the 
Academy; also to nominate two students, annually, who, on 
passing the usual examination, (should) be admitted to the 
school of the Academy, free of charge." 

A description of this building, appended to the Historic 
Annals of the National Academy of Design, contains one 
vivid paragraph which is a sort of personally conducted tour. 
Surely no wayfaring man, however limited his intelligence, 
need err therein. It reads, "Visitors to the Galleries will 
enter at the main entrance in the first story. On the left of 
a person so entering, is the ticket office; on the right, the 
umbrella depository. Passing through the vestibule, the 
visitor enters the Great Hall; in front are the stairs leading 
to the Galleries above; four steps, the whole width of the 
hall, lead to a platform, where he gives up his ticket and buys 
his Catalogue; from this a double flight leads to another 
platform, from which a single flight reaches the level of the 
Gallery floor." 1 

The building was constructed from the plans of P. B. Wight 
as architect, who set before himself the task of creating a 
building that should be a revival of the Gothic style in archi- 

^ummings, p. 349. 



tecture, adapted to the needs of the nineteenth century. 
The description states that all the carving was carefully 
studied from natural forms, the flowers and leaves of our 
woods and fields having furnished the models for all the sculp- 
ture, which was designed, under the direction of the architect, 
by the stone carvers who did the work. 

With the most recent years of the history of the Academy 
of Design we may not deal ; our concern is with events before 



To James Herring, a portrait painter, who at one time was 
Secretary of the American Academy of Fine Arts, the origin 
of the Apollo Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts 
in the United States is due. He is best known, probably, 
for his publication, with James B. Longacre of Philadelphia, 
of the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 
a work noteworthy for its fine engravings of Jay, Jackson, 
Adams, and other public men, many of which A. B. Durand 
made. On the title-page is printed, "Under the superinten- 
dence of the American Academy of the Fine Arts." The 
arrangement was that a committee of the Academy should act 
as judges of the selection of subjects, the merits of paintings 
and engravings, and the literary excellence of the work, in 
order that it might be "appropriate, well-written, authentic, 
and national." 1 In return, all portraits and miniatures ex- 
pressly painted for the National Portrait Gallery should be 
deposited in the Academy for the use of artists and students, 
proofs of all engravings should be framed and hung in the 
Director's room, and a copy of the work should be presented 
annually to the library. 

'Keeper's Book, American Academy of the Fine Arts. 



Herring opened the Apollo Gallery at 410 Broadway and 
exhibited therein the works of modern artists. A catalogue 
of the first fall exhibition (1838) makes the announcement 
that the Apollo Gallery is intended for the "mutual con- 
venience of the Artists and the Public; to provide for the 
artists a suitable depot for the temporary exhibition of their 
works . . . and for the lovers of art a place of resort, 
where they may expect to find a rich variety of subjects for 
study or for sale." The price of admission was 25 cents; that 
of the catalogue, 125 cents. 

Having conceived the idea of establishing an association 
similar to The Edinburgh Association for the Promotion of 
Fine Arts in Scotland, Mr. Herring consulted several phil- 
anthropic friends of art, among them one long actively in- 
terested in the welfare of art, Dr. John W. Francis, earlier a 
professor of the anatomy of painting in the American Acad- 
emy. In 1839 he became the first president of the Apollo 
Association. Among the later presidents we fmd Bryant's 
name for three years, from 1844 to 1846. This new organiza- 
tion was incorporated in 1840; in 1844 the Legislature changed 
its name to the American Art Union, the earlier name having 
been judged inappropriate and ill-advised. Under the new 
name it had great success and almost unprecedented in- 

The plan of the organization is stated in the Bulletin of 
the American Art Union as follows: 

" Every subscriber of five dollars is a member of the Art 
Union for the year, and entitled to all its privileges. 

"The money thus obtained, after paying necessary ex- 
penses, is applied, 

" First - To the production of a large and costly Original. 
Engraving from an American painting. Of this Engraving 
every member receives a copy for every five dollars paid by 




" Second - To the purchase of Paintings and Sculpture, 
Statuettes in bronze, and Medals, by native or resident 
artists. These Works of Art are publicly exhibited at the 
Gallery of the Art-Union till the annual meeting in December, 
when they are publicly distributed by lot among the mem- 
bers, each member having one share for every five dollars 
paid by him. 

'Third The Institution keeps an office and free Picture 
Gallery, always open." 

Conducted as the Union was by energetic merchants, it 
practically controlled the market for works of art. As the 
Art Bulletin of 1853 recorded, "The Art Union, in the man- 
agement of its business, purchased its stock, advertised and 
exhibited its goods, employed its agents and clerks just like 
a merchant." In 1844 one of the prizes, The Voyage of Life, 
by Cole, painted for Samuel Ward, who died before it was 
completed, proved so tempting as to increase the number of 
subscribers from less than eight hundred to more than sixteen 
thousand. The attendance during that year was estimated 
as somewhat over half a million people. 

If one would realize the scope of the Art Union, let him 
read the monthly Bulletin of the Union, published primarily 
as a vehicle of communication with the subscribers, but de- 
veloping into a creditable journal devoted to the interests of 
art, containing news about American artists and exhibitions; 
biographies of artists, such as Paul Delaroche, John Constable 
and J. M. W. Turner; descriptions of the pictures purchased 
for distribution; reprints of articles found in foreign publica- 
tions, for example, a paper by Mrs. Jameson, entitled Some 
Thoughts on Art; and book notices, among them a review of 
Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture. Included in its 
pages were monthly instalments of a Biographical, Tech- 
nological, and Topical Dictionary of Art, a series of lessons 
on The Art of Sketching from Nature, and several articles 



on The Cities of Art and the Early Artists, in other words, 
on Italian Art. 

But Nemesis, in the guise of "distinguished editorial hos- 
tility," 1 as Cummings phrases it, was on the trail of so suc- 
cessful an organization. The distribution of paintings by a 
lottery was pronounced illegal. Accordingly we have the 
catalogue of the first (and also the last) annual sale of paint- 




ings, December 15, 1853, with this explanatory note, "A 
competent legal tribunal having decided that the plan hither- 
to pursued of distributing works of art by lot was in conflict 
with the provisions of the Constitution, the committee have 
deemed it expedient to adopt a new medium of communica- 
tion between the artist and the public." 

To show the influence of the Art Union, despite its illegal- 
ity, upon the progress of art, John Durand has gleaned the 
following facts: "In 1836 they (artists) could be counted 
on one's fingers; in 1851, when the Art Union fell under the 

Cummings, p. 149. 



ban of the law, American artists formed a large body. The 
collection of paintings that was to have been distributed this 
year, and sold at auction in 1853 to close up the institution, 
numbered three hundred and ninety-five works, executed 
by over two hundred and fifty artists, most of them born on 
the soil. During the period of the Art Union's existence it 
distributed two thousand four hundred works, besides numer- 
ous original engravings. The institution, if not the creator 
of a taste for art in the community, disseminated a knowl- 
edge of it and largely stimulated its growth. Through it the 
people awoke to the fact that art was one of the forces of 
society." l 



This laudable attempt to open a permanent art gallery is 
inseparably connected with the name of Luman Reed, a 
successful merchant, and any account of its history should be 
prefaced by a statement of the debt New York owes to this 
generous benefactor, its first patron of the arts on a large 
scale, a most munificent patron for any country, whose in- 
fluence upon the art movement, both by substantial encour- 
agement of American artists and by the effect of his example 
upon wealthy men, it would be difficult to overestimate. 
Among the men enriched by his commissions and his friend- 
ship were A. B. Durand, Thomas Cole, and W. S. Mount. 
One incident may illustrate his kindly beneficence. When 
Cole showed Mr. Reed a painting for which he had given a 
commission, the merchant inquired the price. Cole an- 
swered, " I shall be satisfied if I receive $300; but I should be 
gratified if the price is fixed at $500." ' You shall be grati- 
fied," replied his patron, and commissioned him to paint five 
more pictures at the same price. 

'John Durand, Life and Times of A. B. Durand, p. 172. 





Mr. Reed's own home, 13 Greenwich Street, was unique in 
that the third story was adapted in building for a picture 
gallery, and this was open one day each week to visitors, an 
innovation in his time. Another interesting experiment tried 
in the gallery was painting the doors in harmony with the 
general tone of color of the walls, which work was done by 
Cole, Mount, Flagg, and Durand. This room was a noted 
meeting-place for artists and literary men. Here Cooper, 
Irving, and Bryant associated with the American artists. To 
these meetings may well be attributed, in part, at least, the 
tone of purity and refinement, and the success of art in New 

When soon after Mr. Reed's death it became necessary to 
settle his estate and dispose of his pictures, a number of his 
friends and beneficiaries, by a subscription among his busi- 
ness associates, easily raised $13,000 and purchased the 
entire collection. They next devised the plan of the New 
York Gallery of the Fine Arts. From Theodore Allen, Mr. 
Reed's son-in-law, came the suggestion; Jonathan Sturges, 
Mr. Reed's partner, himself a collector of American paintings, 
became its president; Thomas H. Faile was made treasurer. 
The two last named contributed the funds to begin the under- 
taking. Although in the list of trustees are the names of 
Thomas S. Cummings and William Cullen Bryant, most of 
the fifty trustees were wholesale grocers. On this account 
Mr. James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, when 
approached for a favorable press notice, said bluntly, "Why, 
these people know more about pork and molasses than 
they do about art!" 1 

The organization was effected in 1844; the incorporation, 
in 1845. In the Constitution the following Sections are of 
especial interest: 

" Its object is to establish in the city of New York a per- 
^urand, p. 128. 



manent Gallery of Paintings, Statuary, and other Works of 

"The payment of one dollar, and the subscription of this 
Constitution shall constitute the person making such pay- 
ment and subscription a member for life. 

" Each member shall receive a certificate of membership, 
which shall entitle him to free admission to the Gallery for 
life, whenever it is open. 

"The certificates of membership shall not be transferable, 

rn of jfinr 


and all rights conferred thereby, shall attach solely to the 
person named therein, and shall expire with his life. 

'The Trustess shall have no power either to create any 
debt or liability on the part of the Association; or to sell, 
exchange, or lend any of its works of art; or to do anything 
by which any of its property can be encumbered; or to im- 
pose any assessment on its members." 

According to this clause, a work of art once in the pos- 
session of the Gallery must remain permanently in the col- 

For the first display of the paintings the National Academy 
of Design lent its large exhibition room at the corner of 


Broadway and Leonard Street. The collection, although 
it contained some works by the Old Masters a Fyt, two 
Morlands, an Annibale Carracci, and several paintings de- 
signated as Dutch, Flemish, or Italian School -- showed a 
marked preponderance of paintings by American artists of 
Mr. Reed's own period. Among them we note Cole's series, 
The Course of Empire; portraits of American presidents, 
from life or from earlier portraits, by A. B. Durand; and 
twelve paintings by George W. Flagg, a nephew of Washing- 
ton Allston, Mr. Reed's protege, who was enabled to study 
abroad by Mr. Reed's generosity. Durand's Wrath of Peter 
Stuyvesant, which was in the collection, must have had in 
those days a secondary interest, in addition to that occasioned 
by its merit, for Stuyvesant was said to be a portrait of 
Luman Reed. The catalogue contained one hundred and 
seven entries. From its introduction we cull the follow- 

"A Gallery of Art in a city, is a source of refinement; nay, 
more, it is a stronghold of virtue. It opens a fountain of 
pure and improving pleasure to the stranger, to the idler, 
to the young, to our families, to our children. Call it a 
lounge, if you please; let it catch the idle hours or arrest 
the weary step; yet idling and relaxation here, can hardly 
fail to be improvement. Pictures of fair and spiritual 
beauty, forms of majestic virtue, portraitures of heroism and 
patriotism, shall lift the thoughts above their wonted range, 
to nobleness and sanctity." 

Meantime the municipal corporation was asked to grant 
the use of the Rotunda, 1 a building erected in 1817 on city 
property at the northeast corner of the park, by John Vander- 
lyn for his panoramas, but now unoccupied. By dint of 
bribery, much lobbying, and speeches by the aldermen, who 
were duly coached for the occasion, the petition was granted, 

'See p. 80. 



on one condition, that the building should be vacated at any 
time on due notice. So in 1845 the gallery was duly estab- 
lished in its new quarters, which had been made over to suit 
its purpose. An advertisement in the New York Tribune 
for October 5th, 1846, reads thus: 

"NEW YORK GALLERY of the Fine Arts- - This insti- 
tution, occupying the building known as the Rotunda in the 
Park, is open daily from 9 a. m. until dark. On Monday and 
Tuesday evenings the rooms are brilliantly lighted until 
10 p. m. 

Life membership one dollar. Single admission 25 cents. 
The Public Schools admitted free on Saturday by making 
arrangements with the doorkeeper." 

For about three years the Rotunda was occupied, but even 
here the gallery was never successful financially. The 
Trustees had ten thousand certificates of membership printed 
in anticipation of a large demand, but with difficulty disposed 
of a thousand by sale or gift. When the Common Council 
ordered the Rotunda vacated, that the City might use it 
for certain public offices, the gallery was removed to the 
exhibition room of the National Academy of Design, where 
for several years -- until 1854, at least - - it was open to the 
public during the months between the Academy exhibitions. 
At length Messrs. Sturges and Faile, who furnished finan- 
cial backing, became weary of making up a deficiency each 
year, and decided to close the affairs of the gallery. The 
valuable collection was placed in the care of the Historical 
Society in 

'See p. 38. 

6 7 




The interest in this institution, as in the New York Gallery 
of Fine Arts, centers around the name of an individual, Peter 
Cooper, a man whose dominating purpose throughout his 
life was to provide free education for the working classes. 
This aim gripped his thought even in his young manhood 
when as an apprentice to a coachmaker his only capital con- 
sisted of good health, an eagerness to work, and those quali- 
ties of mind - - a broad farsightedness and an extraordinary 
inventive capacity - - that were so apparent in his later 
career. His own education was obtained from about six 
weeks' attendance at a country school and studying alone 
evenings by the light of a tallow dip in a barn lent him by his 
grandmother, Mrs. John Campbell, on her farm near City 
Hall. His life furnishes a remarkable instance of a youthful 
ambition that came to fulfilment. As means increased, his 
enthusiastic interest in the welfare of the skilled laborer 
did not diminish, but rather kept pace with his increasing 
ability. For fifty years he held tenaciously to his purpose; 
lot by lot he bought the property on which Cooper Union 
stands; some time before the actual construction of the build- 
ing he purchased the material and stored it on the site. 

In 1859 he founded the first institution in this country for 
the free education of the working classes. Students were 
admitted in the order of application, but everyone before his 
admission must state that he was obliged to earn a livelihood. 
Thus the institution was, and still is, safeguarded for the 
working classes. Mr. Cooper's high moral and even relig- 
ious purpose in founding this institution and the unbounded 
pleasure he received from his act can be read in every line of 




his letter to the trustees accompanying the trust-deed, from 
which two paragraphs are quoted: 

" My design is to establish this institution, in the hope that 
unnumbered youth will here receive the inspiration of truth 
in all its native power and beauty, and find in it a source of 
perpetual pleasure to spread its transforming influence 
throughout the world. 

" Believing in and hoping for such result, 1 desire to make 
this institution contribute in every way to aid the efforts of 
youth to acquire useful knowledge, and to find and fill that 
place in this community where their capacity and talents 
can be usefully employed with the greatest possible advan- 
tage to themselves and the community in which they live." 

By the trust-deed Peter Cooper and Sarah, his wife, who 
heartily concurred in his plans, conveyed to the Cooper Union 
for the Advancement of Science and Art the block of ground 
bounded northerly by Astor Place, easterly by Third Avenue, 
southerly by Seventh Street, and westerly by Fourth Avenue, 
with the building erected thereon, to be "forever devoted 
to the instruction and improvement of the inhabitants of the 
United States in practical science and art." 

Among the objects to which the revenues of the corpora- 
tion were to be devoted, as enumerated in the Charter, three 
especially concern us in tracing the history of the New York 
institutions of art, and these we shall quote and then discuss 
in order. 

I. "Regular courses of instruction, at night, free to all 
who shall attend the same, under the general regulations of 
the trustees, on the application of science to the useful occu- 
pations of life, on social and political science, meaning there- 
by not merely the science of political economy, but the science 
and philosophy of a just and equitable form of government, 
based upon the fundamental law that nations and men should 



do unto each other as they would be done by, and on such 
other branches of knowledge as in the opinion of the Board 
of Trustees will tend to improve and elevate the working 
classes of the city of New York." 

Even from the early years of the institution, among the 
subjects taught in this artisans' night college have been 
drawing (architectural, mechanical, and free-hand), modeling, 
decorative designing, perspective, and studies from life. The 
course in art has always been elementary, as no previous 
training is required, but thorough. In 1910-11 there were 
eleven hundred and thirty-four pupils enrolled in the 
night art classes, with more than eleven hundred appli- 
cants kept on the waiting list through lack of accommoda- 
tions. Such men of distinction as Augustus Saint-Gaudens 
and Frederick MacMonnies, among others, acquired their 
early education in these night classes. 

II. 'The support and maintenance of a free reading- 
room, of galleries of art, and of scientific collections, designed, 
in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, to improve and in- 
struct those classes of the inhabitants of the city of New York 
whose occupations are such as to be calculated, in the opinion 
of the said Board of Trustees, to deprive them of proper 
recreation and instruction." 

The suggestion of establishing a free gallery of art was 
acted on at once by the Trustees by assigning a suite of rooms 
for this object, and depositing therein the Bryan Gallery, 
and some other pictures lent by private individuals. 

The first Annual Report, issued in 1860, announces: 

"The Trustees would rejoice if an effort could be made to 
establish a permanent free gallery in the building, and in 
that event they would undertake to arrange the upper hall 
appropriately for its reception." 

The Fifth Annual Report records that 164,343 visitors 


entered the Gallery during the year, announces Mr. Bryan's 
gift of his collection to The New York Historical Society, 
and regrets that "the public will soon be compelled to go 
elsewhere in order to get admission to a free gallery of art/' 
Again the Trustees suggest, 

"Whoever will contribute to provide a permanent free 
gallery of art in this Institution will be doing a great service 
to the public, and entitle himself to be called the friend of the 
working classes, who, too poor to buy pictures, are created 
rich enough to take in all their beauty and worth." 

111. "The maintenance of a school for the instruction of 
respectable females in the arts of design, and, in the discretion 
of the Board of Trustees, to afford to respectable females 
instruction in such other art or trade as will tend to furnish 
them suitable employment." 

This special provision for "females" does not mean that 
women were excluded from any other course, for from the first 
all privileges were extended irrespective of sex; it does mean 
that a School of Design for Women, organized a year before 
the incorporation of Cooper Union by a private society for 
the purpose of giving art instruction at a moderate cost, but 
suffering from lack of means, was made an integral part of 
the new institution. To this department "amateurs" might 
be admitted for pay, so long as industrial pupils were not 
thereby excluded. This rule has become a dead letter; there 
is no chance for amateurs when so many pupils apply who 
cannot afford even a minimum payment. The benevolent 
ladies who established the earlier school became, under the 
new regime, an advisory council whose connection with the 
school has been very intimate and exceedingly valuable. 
Mrs. Abram S. Hewitt, a daughter of Peter Cooper, has been 
a member of this council for over fifty years, and Mrs. Joseph 
H. Choate for nearly half a century. Dr William Rimmer, 



of Boston, was given sole charge of the school in 1866. His 
teaching was instructive through his remarkable knowledge 
of anatomy and inspiring through his own personality. His 
methods were unique, as was his reputation as a sculptor, 
for he executed nude statues without models. His own 
works, but six in number, are a Head of Saint Stephen, a 
Falling Gladiator, a granite statue of Alexander Hamilton, 
an Osiris, a Dying Centaur, and the Fighting Lions. After 
Dr. Rimmer's term of service, Mrs. Robert Carter was made 
Principal and had charge of the school for over twenty years. 
The later directors have been R. Swain Gifford and Frederick 
Dielman, both academicians of the National Academy of 
Design. The faculty has included many of the foremost 
American artists. One of the earlier reports gives an enrol- 
ment of two hundred women as students; the latest, three 
hundred and sixty-two, with over a hundred on the waiting- 

Fortunately Peter Cooper was permitted during twenty- 
five years of serene old age to witness the results of his own 
beneficence and to hear words of grateful appreciation from 
the lips of many of his boys, the Cooper Union students. 
Until three days before his death, he gave his personal atten- 
tion to the details of school supervision, visited the classes, 
attended the lectures, planned for future improvements, in 
short, lived for the institution he had founded. One of his 
plans, to use the roof of Cooper Union as a recreation ground 
and social center, has never been carried out; but that it was 
a workable scheme is proved by its successful operation in 
some of the New York public schools. 

Another plan, in his mind from the first, was the establish- 
ment of a museum. This he frequently spoke of, but he saw 
no opportunity to accomplish his desire during his lifetime. 
In the letter accompanying the Trust Deed, from which we 
have already quoted, are found the following sentences : "In 



order most effectually to aid and encourage the efforts of 
youth to obtain useful knowledge, I have provided the main 
floor of the large hall on the third story for a reading-room, 
literary exchange, and scientific collections. . . . And 
when a sufficient collection of the works of art, science, and 
nature can be obtained, I propose that glass cases shall be 
arranged around the walls of the gallery of the said room, 
forming alcoves around the entire floor for the preservation 
of the same." 

The granddaughters of Peter Cooper, also believing that a 
museum is one of the most important parts of a scheme of 
instruction in art, in 1896 opened to the public a Museum for 
the Arts of Decoration, the first in America, intended not 
only for the scholars of the Day and Night Art Schools, but 
for artisans generally. The plan of this museum is not on 
the exact lines of Peter Cooper's thought; it is, however, in 
accord with his aim to benefit the working classes, for it deals 
with ornament as applied to all the trades. As one report 
states, "It is a working laboratory for the varied artistic 
trades, ... an industrial art object reference alcove." 
The first steps towards this museum were taken as early as 
1889 when Mr. and Mrs. Abram S. Hewitt presented a large 
collection of casts of the best French architectural and inte- 
rior decorative motives as a nucleus for the coming Museum. 
Since then many friends of Cooper Union have helped most 
generously in adding to the collections. 

The arrangement of the Museum is that of historical 
sequence, thus showing development of style. The space is 
divided into alcoves, each containing objects of a particular 
country and period. The labels are made simple and instruc- 
tive. Encyclopedic scrap-books of pictures, photographs, 
drawings, color sketches, grouped historically and labeled 
clearly, furnish supplementary material. Other ways of 
making the collection of practical value have been success- 



fully tried; lecturers and teachers have been permitted to 
bring classes for talks before the objects themselves, and 
duplicates in the collection have been lent to other smaller 
museums. In these various ways the Museum has proved 
helpful to those for whom it was specially designed, and 
through them to the community. 

I Ilitl! 
1111 .1 linn 




Besides the incidents connected with the prominent organ- 
izations referred to above, there are certain other episodes in 
the history of art in New York of interest to the antiquarian, 
though they do not so vitally affect the progress of art. No 
complete account of these is either possible or desirable here, 
but a brief mention of a few may prove entertaining. 

started life as an itinerant organ-grinder, and during his 
wanderings he collected the nucleus of his exhibit. 1 That 

Francis, Handbook of New York, 1853. 



his museum became the successor, as it were, to the Tam- 
many Museum, we have already learned. The exhibit was 
opened in 1810 at 21 Chatham Street, but was removed in 
1816 to the west end of the New York Institution, where the 
Corporation had granted it free accommodation for ten years 
with the other scientific institutions of the city, for such it 
was rated in its day. Eight years later John Scudder built 
an edifice for his museum at the corner of Broadway and Ann 
Street, where the St. Paul Building now stands. 

The best portion of his exhibit is advertised in A Concise 
Description of the City of New York, published in 1814: 

" Scudder's Collection of Naval Paintings - The indus- 
trious proprietor of the Museum has also opened a very hand- 
some collection of paintings, representative of the many 
recent victories which the U. S. have obtained over the 
British on the ocean. They are executed on an extensive 
scale, and are by no means destitute of merit. The second 
story of the Commercial building opposite the park is occu- 
pied for this exhibition. In the evening the apartment is 
brilliantly lighted, and the visitors are enlivened by music. 
The price of admittance is twenty-five cents." Perhaps its 
worst collection was noted by a frank English traveler who 
called the wax works contained therein "prodigies of ab- 
surdity and bad taste." One of Mr. Scudder's attractions 
was a band that played popular airs in an outer balcony to 
draw people within the doors; therefore Halleck's lines: 

"And music ceases when it rains 
"In Scudder's balcony." 

Similar to the American Museum in aim and character, in 
other words, a commercial undertaking, was PEALE'S MUSEUM 
AND GALLERY OF THE FINE ARTS, sometimes known as the 
New York Museum, conducted by Reuben Peale from 1825 
at 252 Broadway, opposite the park. The merits of this 










i i 

























^ U 



ai ui 

~ H- 




_; x 


















C o 

;_ H 































*j , 

p l 












popular place of entertainment, where eight daily papers 
were provided for the use of the visitors, 1 are loudly heralded 
in the daily press. One announcement in particular attracts 
attention as perhaps the first time that Egyptian mummies 
were introduced to American society: 

"EGYPTIAN MUMMIES- The scientific and curious 
are respectfully informed that the two Mummies lately re- 
ceived will be examined and partially unwrapped, by several 
of the most respectable physicians of this city at one o'clock 
on Friday, third instant, in the Lecture Room of Peale's 
Museum. N B. On this occasion, children cannot be 
admitted." A subsequent account assures us that these 
respectable physicians treated the mummies with due 

Both these museums were absorbed by Phineas T. Barnum 
when in 1841 he became proprietor of the American Museum 
and continued at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street to 
provide varied kinds of entertainment from seeing General 
Tom Thumb, Jr., to hearing Jenny Lind. One advertise- 
ment in 1842 shows the wide range of these attractions, 
"Also exhibiting the facsimile of the great picture of CHRIST 
HEALING THE SICK IN THE TEMPLE, by Benjamin West, Esq., 
THE ALBINO LADY; and 500,000 curiosities." Barnum's 
museum was burned down July 13, 1865. He did not re- 
build at the same place, and the site was taken by James 
Gordon Bennett for the publication of the New York Herald. 
In fact, the Herald was here published until 1893 when it 
removed to Herald Square. 

taking, while conducted for profit - - the admittance was 
twenty-five cents-- was apparently the expression of some- 

'New York Evening Post, March 6, 1826. 
2 New York Evening Post, March i, 1826. 



what higher aims than either Scudder's or Peale's Museum. 
John I. Browere, a sign-painter who later became a portrait- 
painter and sculptor, had a studio in the rear of his residence, 
315 Broadway, where he took the bust of many a gentleman 
of note. In his Gallery he is said to have been encouraged 
by Jefferson, Adams, Lafayette, and all the famous men of 
the day. 1 "The object of this institution," says a notice 
printed in 1828, "is to hand down to posterity the features 
and forms of American personages, as they actually were at 
the period of the execution of the likenesses by Mr. Browere. 
Among the number of his busts are the originals of Washing- 
ton, Franklin, Paul Jones, and Jefferson by Houdon of 
France, who has been acknowledged the most eminent of his 
profession in Europe.'* 2 

OLD PAFF'S GALLERY. " Michael Paff, Esq., an industri- 
ous and successful collector of paintings," 3 as Durand calls 
him, whose specialty was the Old Masters, opened a gallery 
in 1811 for the sale of paintings. He occupied at one time 
a part of the site of the present Astor House, 221 Broadway; 
at another, premises on Wall Street formerly occupied by the 
Custom House. In 1817 his collection was said to consist 
of upwards of three hundred original paintings and sketches 
and two thousand etchings and engravings. One of his 
advertisements offers great inducement for wholesale attend- 
ance, "A single admission, 25 cents. Subscribers, 3 dollars 
per annum; a lady and gentleman 4 dollars; and a whole 
family, 8 dollars for the same period." 

This eccentric old picture dealer had ingenious ways of 
establishing the genuineness of his treasures. Perchance his 
tribe is not entirely extinct. For example, he is said to have 

'Charles Burr Todd, In Olde New York, p. 36-37. 

-A.. T. Goodrich, Picture of N. Y.and Stranger's Guide to the Commercial 
Metropolis of the U. S. 
3 John Durand, Life and Times of A. B. Durand, p. 66. 



claimed that a small Last Supper was by Michelangelo be- 
cause the pavement of the room shown in the painting con- 
tained a row of stones equal in number to the letters of the 
name Buonarroti. He purchased for very small sums pictures 
that after cleaning and restoring sold for goodly amounts. 
What one day was only a landscape, artist unknown, was 
transformed the next day into a composition by Correggio, 
and blossomed the third day into a Van Dyck, duly cleaned 
and varnished, with a glass in front. Its price, meantime, 
had risen correspondingly. 

prominence of John Vanderlyn among early American artists 
gives sufficient reason for a rather full account of his unfor- 
tunate enterprise. In Europe, where he had traveled and 
studied, he had seen the success of panoramas and decided to 
avail himself of the current interest in them to exhibit in New 
York City one of Versailles. By way of preparation, he spent 
several months there making sketches, and after the peace of 
1815 returned with them to New York. According to Wil- 
son's Memorial History of New York, these were not the 
earliest productions of the sort in the city, for in 1795 a 
Panorama of London as seen from Blackfriar's Bridge was 
exhibited in Greenwich Street by William Winstanley, the 
English artist who painted it. 1 

In 1817 upon Vanderlyn's petition, the Corporation granted 
him the use for nine years with peppercorn rent of a lot of 
Jand on City Hall Park fronting on Chambers Street and 
adjacent to the east end of the New York Institution. On 
this he erected a building suitable for exhibition purposes, 
with the condition that at the end of nine years the structure 

J ln 1788 this kind of exhibition had been introduced to the public of Edin- 
burgh by Robert Barker, and not till nine years later was the first panorama 
produced in Paris by our own countryman, Robert Fulton. The Circus, 
p. 97. 



was to become the property of the city. This building, erected 
by subscription, was known as the Rotunda, and was of cir- 
cular form, fifty-three feet in diameter, and forty feet in 
height, with a Pantheon-shaped dome and a skylight. Here 
were exhibited panoramic views of the Palace and Garden of 


Versailles Vanderlyn's own work - - Paris, Athens, The 
City of Mexico, The City and Lake of Geneva, and The 
Battles of Waterloo, Lodi, and that at the gates of Paris. 
Here also were shown Vanderlyn's paintings, including his 
best works, the Marius among the Ruins of Carthage, which 
obtained for him in Paris the Napoleon Gold Medal, when 
twelve hundred paintings by European artists were exhibited, 
and which, it is stated, Napoleon wished to buy for the 
Louvre, and the Ariadne, now in the Pennsylvania Academy 
of Fine Arts. 



The records of the Common Council from 1817 to 1829 
speak eloquently of the struggle John Vanderlyn was having 
to meet his financial obligations. As early as 1824 he had 
assigned the lease of the lot to the trustees of the subscribers, 
and they were petitioning for the right to turn the lease over 
to the Philharmonic Society, 1 who would pay them for the 
use of the building. This petition, however, was not granted. 
In 1829 during Vanderlyn's temporary absence from the 
city, the Corporation resorted to summary measures to 
remove him from the Rotunda, even though he petitioned 
for a renewal of the lease and several of the subscribers sent 
in a petition to the same effect. 

At the time Vanderlyn was seeking a renewal of the lease 
he issued a circular entitled, To the Subscribers of the Ro- 
tunda, Friends and Patrons to the Liberal Arts, which puts 
his position plainly, if a bit plaintively. In fact, the wailing 
note occurs frequently in Vanderlyn's correspondence. Even 
when he was under contract with the American Academy and 
engaged at a stipulated salary, he gave frequent expression 
to his financial difficulties. His present complaint reads, 
" My plans were, however, thwarted by the unfortunate 
pecuniary embarrassments of the Rotunda, arising from the 
costs of the building exceeding so greatly the sum first esti- 
mated, and which was but then discovered, owing to mis- 
management and misconduct of the agent. Eight thousand 
dollars was the calculation of the cost of the building. Had 
$10,000 sufficed (which sum has actually been paid towards 
it), there can be no doubt but that the Rotunda would have 
prospered. Had the small succor of a few hundred dollars 
been lent me at the critical period . . . there can be no 
doubt but that the institution would ... ere this have 

'The Philharmonic Society here referred to is not the present Philhar- 
monic Society, as this was not founded until 1842, but an earlier organization 
that existed from 1824 to about 1828, when it was succeeded by the Musical 
Fund Society. 



discharged the debts due on the building, and been in pos- 
session of a series of Panorama pictures, the merits of which 
had been fully tested by the distinguished approbation which 
had been bestowed upon them in London." 

In May, 1830, an effort was made to procure again for 
Vanderlyn the use of the Rotunda. A petition to theCorpora- 
tion signed by Cadwallader D. Golden, Richard Varick, John 
Ferguson, and other influential patrons urged a renewal of 
the lease and suggested that the creditors should receive a 
part of the exhibition receipts until their claims were met. 

According to a pamphlet by a friend of Vanderlyn's, which 
he called by the inordinately long title, A Review of the Bio- 
graphical Sketch of John Vanderlyn published by William 
Dunlap in his History of the Arts of Design with Some Addi- 
tional Notices respecting Mr. Vanderlyn as an Artist, by a 
friend of the Artist, Mr. Vanderlyn had received every assur- 
ance from the mayor (in 1817) and influential members of 
the Board that an extension of the lease would be granted if 
the institution answered public expectation. The same 
authority records that a subsequent corporation finally set- 
tled with Vanderlyn for $3,000, payable in two equal 

The Rotunda was fitted up in 1829 for the Court of Sessions 
and used later for the Marine Court. In 1834 the Naturaliza- 
tion Office was there. After the great fire of 1835, it became 
temporarily a post office, apparently until 1845, when, as 
will be recalled, the New York Gallery of the Fine Arts was 
permitted to occupy the building for a "rent of one dollar per 
year, during the pleasure of the Common Council." Thus 
the edifice reverted for about three years to a use similar to 
that for which it was built. Before July 31, 1848, however, 
the New York Gallery must have vacated the building, for 
then the Board of Aldermen appropriated two thousand 
dollars "for the purpose of defraying the expense of convert- 



ing the building known as the Rotunda, in the Park, for 
public offices." The offices referred to were those of the 
Croton Aqueduct Board and the Almshouse Commissioner. 
At this time the Rotunda was much larger than Vanderlyn's 
original structure, for two-story extensions to the north and 
south had been added, the latter, called the propylaeum, 
having a portico and four Doric columns. Finally the re- 
moval of the Rotunda was included in the program laid out 
in 1870 by the new Board of Park Commissioners for the 
improvement of the parks. 

this club, established in 1829, another offshoot of the Draw- 
ing Association, included authors and men of science as well 
as artists. In 1831, for example, among its members were 
thirteen artists; several literary men, including Bryant, R. 
G. Sands, and John Howard Payne, best known as the writer 
of Home Sweet Home; and several whose sympathies were 
with literature and art, as Gulian C. Verplanck who, with 
Bryant and Sands, for three years edited The Talisman, an 
annual that furnished an outlet for the talent of the best 
writers, and Hamilton Fish, afterwards president of the New 
York Historical Society. Later the names of Luman Reed 
and Rev. Dr. Bellows, the pastor of All Souls' Church for 
forty-three years, were added. Of this membership John 
Durand says, "These men collectively may be styled the 
fountain head of the subsequent prosperity of local art. 
The start the (American) school (of art) obtained at this 
period is due to the men who belonged to this club." 1 

The Sketch Club, inaugurated at the suggestion of C. C. 
Ingham, who became its first president, was formed for three 

I. "The encouragement of social and friendly feelings 

'John Durand, Life and Times of A. B. Durand, pp. 97, 90. 



among the members by occasional meetings." Every Friday 
evening the club met at one another's houses. Of these 
meetings notice was given in the newspapers in a form that 
mystified the uninitiated. For example, S. C; S. F. B. M. 
meant that the Sketch Club met that evening with Samuel 
F. B. Morse. 

II. "Mutual improvement in drawing." Each evening 
one hour was devoted to drawing on a subject assigned by 
the host, who was privileged to keep the sketches. One 
announcement reads, 'The subject selected is the scene 
at the Fountain of Life in Boyuca, by the late Mr. Sands, 
vide 2d vol. Tales of the Glauber Spa. If preferred by 
any of the members, the opening scene of that story is also 

III. " The production of an annual." 

To prevent an extravagant rivalry in entertaining, the 
members agreed to limit the refreshments to dried fruit, 
crackers, milk, and honey. According to tradition, one 
evening a wealthy member violated the rule by setting before 
the club a supper. The members in protest declared they 
would eat standing and thus keep the letter of the law, as 
sitting down to supper was prohibited; but soon all forgot 
their scruples in the enjoyment of the hour. 

Some amusing discussions of the Sketch Club have 
been recorded." 1 For example, Bryant upheld "as a sage 
notion that the perfection of bathing is to jump head- 
foremost into a snowbank," and the question, " Does heat 
expand the days in summer?" was debated with mock 

Out of this organization, in 1847, grew the Century Club, 
an offshoot, not a successor, a result of the difficulty of ad- 
mission into the Sketch Club, which on that account was 
called The XX I. 

'John Durand, Prehistoric Notes of the Century Club. 



THE INTERNATIONAL ART UNION. This enterprise, begun 
in 1849 by Messrs. Goupil, Vibert & Co. at 289 Broadway, 
was conducted on a plan similar to that of the American Art 
Union, except that its purpose was to introduce "through 
the medium of a perpetual Free Gallery, the Chefs-d'oeuvre 
of the European School of Art," not the American. One new 
detail is given in the following quotation: "A sufficient sum 
will always be set apart for the purpose of sending one Ameri- 
can student to Europe for the term of two years, at the ex- 
pense of the International Art Union. Students of Art from 
any part of the Union may participate in a public exposition 
which will take place annually in the City of New York, from 
which the selection will be made for the term of study abroad." 
Like many another similar enterprise, this union was short- 
lived, closing its affairs in 1863. 

THE DUSSELDORF GALLERY. The Dtisseldorf Gallery, 
established in 1849 in a hall over the Church of the Divine 
Unity in Broadway, between Spring and Prince Streets, was 
collected by Mr. John G. Boker, who resided in Diisseldorf, 
Germany, for twenty years, and then was Prussian Consul 
in New York. The gallery was so called because it was filled 
with the works of the Diisseldorf artists, a contemporary 
German school, who drew their inspiration from literature 
and history and painted with great exactitude of finish. 
Those here represented included Hasenclever, Schrodter, 
Camphausen, both Oswald and Andreas Achenbach, and 
Leutze, who from training and residence was a Diisseldorfian, 
though he is counted to-day as an American artist. Mr. 
Durand refers to the establishment of this gallery as the first 
appearance in New York of foreign art on a large scale, the 
beginning of what he terms "the eclipse of American art." 1 
A catalogue of the collection, published in 1851 by William 

*John Durand, Life and Times of A. B. Durand, p. 192. 



C. Bryant & Co., contains most copious press notices regard- 
ing the different pictures. To indicate their style and char- 
acter one quotation will suffice: "The picture of the 
highest aim here- -The Adoration of the Magi, by Stein- 
bruck-- has the merit of being in conception and execution 
worthy of its subject and to say this is to say much. Too 
often do we see a sacred subject painfully profaned by the 



extravagance or imbecility of the artist, and even in the works 
of some of the great ones of the past, the imposing influence 
of a grand conception is not unfrequently weakened by the 
obtrusion of ludicrous anachronisms and degrading triviality. 
. . . The composition of Steinbruck's Adoration, its 
general purity and solemnity of tone, and its admirable man- 
agement of light and shadow, raise it to high eminence in 
the lofty range of art to which it aspires. Courier and 

Elihu Vedder in his Digressions gives a somewhat different 



impression of the value and use of the Diisseldorf Gallery. 
He says, "The Gallery had been called the 'Lovers' Tryst' 
from the fact that an indifferent public left ' the banquet hall 
deserted' or almost so, and that the pictures on projecting 
screens made secluded spots of which fond lovers soon availed 

In June, 1857, an organization called The Cosmopolitan 
Art Association 1 purchased the Diisseldorf Collection for 
$180,000, and instituted free admission to the gallery for its 
members. This arrangement was not permanent, however. 
By 1859 the Diisseldorf Gallery is referred to as a separate 
institution, and in 1860 the Diisseldorf Gallery and Jarves 
Collection of Old Masters of the Italian School are advertised 
as attractions at the Institute of Fine Arts, 625 Broadway. 

After over a decade of exhibition and sale this valuable col- 

'The Cosmopolitan Art Association, an organization on the Art Union 
plan, having Sandusky, Ohio, as its headquarters, was founded in June, 1854, 
chartered in May, 1855, and, as the Cosmopolitan Art Journal of September, 
1859, states, "has ever since been like the 'Thane of Cawdor, a prosperous 
gentleman." It combined the encouragement of the fine arts with the dis- 
semination of wholesome literature, as each member was entitled to a sub- 
scription to one of several standard magazines as well as a ticket in the 
annual distribution of statuary and paintings. As with the American Art 
Union and the International Art Union, this association published a journal, 
of which the first issue announces grandiloquently, " It will be a Repository 
of Literary and Art News and Gossip will contain Literary and Art Dis- 
quisitions, popularizing what is too abstruse, too learned for the majority of 
readers will contain the spirit of American Art, as embodied in the Cata- 
logues of the Art Galleries of the institution of which it is an exponent, in an 
extensive correspondence, in contributions from eminent and most worthy 
minds, in delineations from life and in pictures from nature will become 
the patron of Taste, and seek by every laudable means to mould and direct 
that quality of heart and mind aright." This Association in its advertisements 
tries to disarm criticism by stating, "Those who understand the Plan and 
Objects of this Association cannot fail to see that the Institution is not a 
lottery in any usual, legal, or moral sense. We associate for the promotion 
of the Fine Arts on an entirely original plan. There is no game of chance; 
each Member receives a full equivalent in current literature, the net profit 
on which creates a fund with which choice Works of Art are purchased and 
distributed annually." 



lection, numbering one hundred and seven pictures, was sold 
December 18, 1862, at an auction largely attended by artists 
and connoisseurs, and brought, it is said, about $45,000. 

CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION. This famous exhibition 
was held in 1853 in the Crystal Palace built at 42d Street and 
Sixth Avenue in imitation of the Crystal Palace in London 
and totally destroyed by fire five years later. To us the 


building seems huge and ugly, but it seemed very grand to 
one person of the day at least. Mary L. Booth in her His- 
tory of the City of New York describes it thus: "The fairy- 
like Greek cross of glass, bound together with withes of iron, 
with its graceful dome, its arched naves, and its broad aisles 
and galleries, filled with choice productions of art and manu- 
factures gathered from the most distant parts of the earth - 
quaint old armor from the Tower of London, gossamer 
fabrics from the looms of Cashmere, Sevres china, Gobelin 
tapestry, Indian curiosities, stuffs, jewelry, musical instru- 
ments, carriages and machinery of home and foreign manu- 



facture, Marochetti's colossal equestrian statue of Washing- 
ton, Kiss's Amazon, Thorwaldsen's Christ and the Apostles, 
Powers' Greek Slave, and a host of other works of art 
besides -- will long be remembered as the most tasteful orna- 
ment that ever graced the metropolis." 1 

The collection of paintings and sculpture, numbering six 
hundred and seventy-five, though very creditable, did not 
receive the recognition it deserved, possibly because it was 
only a part of a larger exhibition. One editor of the day 
draws the following amusing comparison, suggested perhaps 
by the queer jumble of exhibits: "We grow sculptors as 
naturally as we grow Indian corn, and it is no wonder that a 
taste for their works should be indigenous." In an indirect 
way this apparently unappreciated exhibition affected the 
course of history of our Museum, for one man intimately 
connected with the inception of The Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, Professor George F. Comfort, attributed to this ex- 
hibition his first impression of institutions of art and of the 
beauty and power of sculpture 

In the Official Catalogue, among a host of names predomi- 
nantly of the Diisseldorf School, are found works by Winter- 
halter, DeVries, Vernet, and Caroline Smith, a very few 
Americans, particularly W. S. Mount, and over twenty water 
colors by members of the New York Watercolor Society. 
One section of the catalogue contains works lent by Joseph 
Cristadoro, Esq., a truly imposing array of great names, such 
as Solomon and Jacob Ruysdael, David Teniers, Antonio 
Tempesta, Carlo Maratti, and Andrea del Sarto. 

held in the spring of 1864 at the Fourteenth Street Armory in 
aid of the United States Sanitary Commission, that is, for 
the benefit of the sick and wounded of the National Army, 
brought in over a million dollars. The plans for it were made 

'Vol. VI, p. 752. 



largely at the Union League Club, itself a child of the United 
States Sanitary Commission and its membership ardent and 
active supporters thereof. Among those who generously 
lent their artistic treasures are the names of W. T. Blodgett, 
A. M. Colzens, John Taylor Johnston, R. M. Olyphant, 
Marshall O. Roberts, and Jonathan Sturges, men who owned 
private collections largely American in character. The cata- 


logue of paintings to be sold there at auction has one hundred 
and ninety-six numbers, while the complete catalogue of the 
art exhibition includes three hundred and sixty works of art. 
These catalogues illustrate the interest in modern European 
art which had been developing side by side with the patronage 
of American art. About one-third of the artists represented 
were modern European artists, for example, Bouguereau, 
Breton, Couture, Gerome, Meissonier, Rousseau, and Troyon. 
The Committee of the Fine Arts contains among others 
the following familiar names: Mrs. Jonathan Sturges, Mr.' and 
Mrs. William T. Blodgett, A. M. Cozzens, Marshall O. 


Roberts, E. Leutze, W. Whittredge, and Daniel Hunting- 

With the Metropolitan Fair Gallery this account of the 
history of art in New York before the establishment of The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art may well end, for this fair 
with its thousands of surprised and delighted visitors, evi- 
denced to many people "the need, desirableness, and prac- 
ticability of a permanent and free gallery of art." The 
statement in Henry T. Tuckerman's Book of the Artists, 
which was copyrighted in 1867, may stand for a contempo- 
raneous opinion of the status of art. 

"Within the last few years the advance of public taste and 
the increased recognition of art in this country, have been 
among the most interesting phenomena of the times. A score 
of eminent and original landscape painters have achieved the 
highest reputations; private collections of pictures have be- 
come a new social attraction [to the collectors already men- 
tioned might be added the names of Robert Hoe, later a 
patron of the Museum, and James Lenox and R. L. Stuart, 
whose collections are now in the New York Public Library] ; 
exhibitions of works of art have grown lucrative and popular; 
buildings expressly for studios have been erected; sales of 
pictures by auction have produced unprecedented sums of 
money; art shops are a delectable feature of Broadway ; artist- 
receptions are favorite reunions of the winter; and a splendid 
edifice has been completed devoted to the Academy, and 
owing its erection to public munificence-- while a school of 
design is in successful operation at the Cooper Institute. Nor 
is this all; at Rome, Paris, Florence, and Diisseldorf, as well 
as at Chicago, Albany, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Boston, and 
New York, there are native ateliers, schools, or collections, 
the fame whereof has raised our national character and en- 



hanced our intellectual resources as a people. These and 
many other facts indicate too plainly to be mistaken, that 
the time has come to establish permanent and standard gal- 
leries of art, on the most liberal scale, in our large cities." 1 

'H. T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists, pp. 1 1, 12. 








THE introductory chapter has given ample proof that 
by the end of the Civil War the time for theestablish- 
ment of a permanent gallery of art in New York had 
fully come and that the people of culture were united in their 
recognition of this fact, though they might differ as to the 
practicable means to secure the desired end. For example, 
The New York Historical Society wished to utilize for that 
purpose the Arsenal in the Park, while the editor of the Even- 
ing Post, on January 17, 1867, in an article entitled A Free 
Gallery for New York, laid the burden of responsibility 
for such an undertaking upon the National Academy of 
Design, then occupying its Fourth Avenue building. 

At this juncture John Jay, a man ceaseless in good 
works, best known at this time perhaps by his active opposi- 
tion to slavery, gave an address before a company of 
Americans at a Fourth of July dinner in Paris in 1866 that 
was destined to initiate the Museum movement. The 
London Times of July 7, 1866, in a letter from Paris gives the 
following pleasing account of this significant occasion: 

'The goth anniversary of the National Independence of 
the United States was celebrated on Wednesday at the Pre 
Catalan. The fete was organized through the active agency 
of some patriotic gentlemen. The usual attractions of the 
Pre Catalan were much increased by a generous contri- 



bution of plants and flowers by the Prefect'of the Seine from 
the city conservatories. Large tents were arranged for the 
accommodation of those present - - one for dancing, two for 
refreshments, and one as a vestiaire. They were profusely 
decorated with American and French flags united in fais- 
ceaux, and in the dancing-tent were suspended portraits of 
Washington and of the Emperor of the French. Among the 
invited guests were Mr. Bigelow, Minister of the United 
States, and his family; Mr. Fox, Assistant Secretary of War; 
Captain Beaumont (of the Monitor Miantonomoh, now lying 
at Cherbourg) together with several of his officers; Mr. N. 
M. Beckwith, U. S. Commissioner to the Universal Exhi- 
bition of 1867; the Rev. Drs. Hitchcock, Thompson (of the 
Broadway Tabernacle), Eldridge, Cummins, Davenport, 
and Smith. . . . Refreshments of various kinds were 
furnished during the afternoon and at half-past 5 o'clock a 
repast was laid out in the refreshment-tent, after which the 
chairman of the committee, Mr. Tucker, in a few pertinent 
observations, reminded his countrymen present of the char- 
acter of the day which they had assembled to celebrate, and 
called upon Mr. John Jay, of New York, for an address. 
This was responded to, that gentleman delivering a lively and 
amusing speech on 'the American invasion of the Old 

Mr. Jay, in a letter to General Cesnola, dated August 30, 
1890, gives a more definite statement of his words and their 
immediate result. "The simple suggestion that 'it was time 
for the American people to lay the foundation of a National 
Institution and Gallery of Art and that the American gentle- 
men then in Europe were the men to inaugurate the plan' 
commended itself to a number of the gentlemen present, who 
formed themselves into a committee for inaugurating the 
movement." This committee subsequently addressed a me- 
morial to the Union League Club of New York, urging the 



importance of early measures " for the foundation of a 
permanent national gallery of art and museum of historical 
relics, in which works of high character in painting and 
sculpture and valuable historical memorials might be 
collected, properly displayed, and safely preserved for the 
benefit of the people at large, " and suggesting that the Union 
League Club might "properly institute the best means for 
promoting this great object." 1 

Meantime Mr. Jay had come home and had been elected 
President of the Union League Club. Therefore the letter 
prompted by his suggestion came up for his own official 
notice. At a meeting of the club, it was referred to its Art 
Committee, which at this time consisted of George P. Put- 
nam, the founder of G. P. Putnam & Sons; John F. Kensett, 
well-known as a landscape painter; J. Q. A. Ward, whose 
statues have a deservedly high place in New York, for ex- 
ample, his Indian Hunter and Pilgrim in Central Park, his 
Henry Ward Beecher in Brooklyn, his colossal statue of 
Washington on the steps of the Sub-Treasury Building, and 
the statues in the pediment of the New York Stock Exchange; 
Worthington Whittredge, a painter of landscapes, whose 
Evening in the Woods in the Museum collection may be con- 
sidered characteristic of his forest interiors; George A. Baker, 
among the best portrait painters of his time, who often 
exhibited at the Academy Exhibitions; Vincent Colyer, who 
painted in New York until the war, and at its close settled in 
Darien, Connecticut: and Samuel P. A very, who as art dealer 
and collector had a large experience in the world of art, and 
whose untiring devotion to the Museum through many sub- 
sequent years it will be our pleasure to record in these pages-. 

These gentlemen, so well fitted for their task, although, as; 
they themselves acknowledged, at first sight "disposed to 
think that their legitimate duties were bounded by the walls 

1 A Metropolitan Art-Museum in the City of New York, N. Y., 1869, p. 3. 



of the club," 1 gave to the problem their serious attention. 
At a meeting of the Club, held October 14, 1869, they re- 
ported at length, recommending an early meeting to which 
members of the club and such of their friends as might be 
interested in the subject should be invited and at which 
Prof. George F. Comfort of Princeton had consented to 
speak. The object of this gathering should be "simply to 
introduce the subject and to elicit a free expression of opinion 
in regard to the expediency of further action, and as to what 
shape it should take. " This report, which was adopted and 
carried into action, contains a discussion of ways and means 
from which we quote the following sentences: 

" It will be said that it would be folly to depend upon our 
governments, either municipal or national, for judicious sup- 
port or control in such an institution ; for our governments, as 
a rule, are utterly incompetent for the task. On the other 
hand, to place the sole control of such efforts in the hands of 
any body of artists alone, or even in the National Academy, 
might not be wise. Neither would an institution be likely 
to meet the requirements if founded solely by any one indi- 
vidual, however ample might be the provision in money 
for it would probably prove sadly deficient in other things. 

"An amply endowed, thoroughly constructed art insti- 
tution, free alike from bungling government officials and 
from the control of a single individual, whose mistaken and 
untrained zeal may lead to superficial attempts and certain 
failures; an institution which will command the confidence of 
judicious friends of art, and especially of those who have 
means to strengthen and increase its value to the city and to 
the nation, is surely worth consideration in a club like this. " 3 

1 A Metropolitan Art-Museum in the City of New York, p. 3. 

2 Ibid, p. 6. 

3 Ibid, p. 5. 

I O2 


The Honorable John Jay, as he had become by his appoint- 
ment as ambassador to Austria, had meantime gone to his 
post in Vienna, and so could not participate actively in the 
proceedings. He was created an Honorary Fellow for Life 
in 1888, as a recognition of his having suggested the move- 
ment for the establishment of the Museum. 

The work of the Art Committee of the Union League 
Club was but just begun when it had rendered its report 
to the Club. An active month was spent in preparing for 
the meeting to be held November 23, 1869, in the Theatre 
of the Club on Twenty-sixth Street. Invitations were 
sent to the members of the Union League Club, the 
National Academy of Design and other artists, the 
Institute of Architects, the New York Historical Society, 
the Century, Manhattan, and other clubs, and to 
citizens who might take an interest in the project. 
Prominent men were asked to act as officers on this 
occasion, that the undertaking might be favorably launched. 
The Committee wisely strove in all these preliminaries that 
the gathering should be recognized as a meeting not "of any 
one club, or society, or party, or organization of any kind", 
but "composed of representatives of the various bodies 
connected with art, and of other citizens interested in the 
subject," as George P. Putnam took pains to say on that 
eventful evening. 

Of this first gathering it is recorded that a large number 
were present one New York newspaper says "some three 
hundred gentlemen" even though the weather prevented 
"many earnest friends of the object from attending." So 
early in the history of the Museum do we come upon what 
we now term "Museum weather." To the natural query as to 
who were present, The New York Times gives the following 
answer: "There was a large representation of artists, editors, 
architects, lawyers, merchants, and others present. Among 



the artists were Church, Bierstadt, H. P. Gray, Stone, Cranch, 
Kensett, Lang, Swain, Gifford, F. A. Tait, Walter Brown, 
Wm. Hart, Le Clear, Rogers, Shattuck, Hayes, McEntee, 
Wengler, Perry, Bristol, Paige, and many others. Among 
other prominent gentlemen present were Rev. Dr. Bellows, 
Richard Upjohn, Mr. Mould, Richard Grant White, Chas. F. 
Briggs, James Brooks, Rev. Dr. Thompson, Judge Peabody, 
and others." 

The following gentlemen acted as officers of the meeting: 



DANIEL HUNTINGTON, of the National Academy of 

R. M. Hi NT, President of the N. Y. Chapter of the 
Institute of Architects. 

ANDREW H. GREEN, Comptroller of the Central Park. 
WM. J. HOPPIN, of the New York Historical Society. 
HENRY W. BELLOWS, D. D., of the Century Club. 

F. A. P. BARNARD, LL. D., President of Columbia 

HENRY G. STEBBINS, President Central Park Com- 

MARSHALL O. ROBERTS, Union League Club. 

WM. E. DODGE, JR., President Young Men's Christian 


S. P. AVERY, Secretary of the Art Committee, Union 
League Club. 

A. J. BLOOR, Secretary of the New York Chapter, Insti- 
tute of Architects. 





Of this noteworthy group of men, but one survives to-day, 
Alfred J. Bloor. He has said, "Well I remember the 'sea of 
upturned faces' and the applause that greeted the venerable 
poet and publicist as he rose to address the audience, as well 
as the dead silence that followed when he opened his lips to 
speak." 1 Any person who reads the art history of New 
York even casually must recognize the appropriateness of the 
selection of William Cullen Bryant as presiding officer, one 
who held the confidence, esteem, and love both of the artists 
and of the community, who possessed the advantage of being 
intimately connected with the entire art movement and yet 
not belonging to the fraternity of artists, hence representing 
not a single group of men, but the great body of people in 
New York. The New York Evening Mail referred to this 
happy choice in an editorial as follows: " It was fitting that 
the Nestor of our poets and journalists - - long may his vigor 
remain unimpaired, as it is at present --who has been the 
counsellor, adviser, and promoter of all projects for the en- 
couragement of American art; who assisted at the birth and 
has sedulously aided the whole growth of our art, and 
whose name is a tower of strength for any enterprise 
should take the lead in a movement which promises so 

The other officers of the evening were men of varied occu- 
pation, but common interest in the highest good of their 
fellow-men, chosen to represent the organizations with which 
they were officially connected. Mr. Bryant on taking the 
chair introduced the subject in an address worthy to be 
copied here: 

"We are assembled, my friends, to consider the subject of 
founding in this city a Museum of Art, a repository of the 
productions of artists of every class, which shall be in some 

'Address read at the inaugural ceremonies at the Syracuse Museum. 

1 06 


measure worthy of this great metropolis and of the wide 
empire of which New York is the commercial center. I 
understand that no rivalry with any other project is con- 
templated, no competition, save with similar institutions in 
other countries, and then only such modest competition as a 
Museum in its infancy may aspire to hold with those which 
were founded centuries ago, and are enriched with the 
additions made by the munificence of successive generations. 
No precise method of reaching this result has been deter- 
mined on, but the object of the present meeting is to awaken 
the public, so far as such a meeting can influence the general 
mind, to the importance of taking early and effectual meas- 
ures for founding such a museum as I have described. 

"Our city is the third great city of the civilized world. 
Our republic has already taken its place among the great 
powers of the earth; it is great in extent, great in population, 
great in the activity and enterprise of her people. It is the 
richest nation in the world, if paying off an enormous national 
debt with a rapidity unexampled in history be any proof of 
riches; the richest in the world, if contented submission to 
heavy taxation be a sign of wealth; the richest in the world, 
if quietly to allow itself to be annually plundered of immense 
sums by men who seek public stations for their individual 
profit be a token of public prosperity. My friends, if a tenth 
part of what is every year stolen from us in this way, in the 
city where we live, under pretence of the public service, and 
poured profusely into the coffers of political rogues, were 
expended on a Museum of Art, we might have, reposited in 
spacious and stately buildings, collections formed of works 
left by the world's greatest artists, which would be the pride 
of our country. We might have an annual revenue which 
would bring to the Museum every stray statue and picture of 
merit for which there should be no ready sale to individuals, 
every smaller collection in the country which its owner could 



no longer conveniently keep, every noble work by the artists 
of former ages, which by any casualty, after long remaining 
on the walls of some ancient building, should be again thrown 
upon the world. 

"But what have we done -- numerous as our people are, 
and so rich as to be contentedly cheated and plundered, what 
have we done toward founding such a repository? We have 
hardly made a step toward it. Yet, beyond the sea there is 
the little kingdom of Saxony, which, with an area less than 
that of Massachusetts, and a population but little larger, 
possesses a Museum of the Fine Arts marvellously rich, which 
no man who visits the continent of Europe is willing to own 
that he has not seen. There is Spain, a third-rate power of 
Europe and poor besides, with a Museum of Fine Arts at her 
capital, the opulence and extent of which absolutely bewilder 
the visitor. I will not speak of France or of England, con- 
quering nations, which have gathered their treasures of art in 
part from regions overrun by their armies; nor yet of Italy, 
the fortunate inheritor of so many glorious productions of 
her own artists. But there are Holland and Belgium, king- 
doms almost too small to be heeded by the greater powers of 
Europe in the consultations which decide the destinies of 
nations, and these little kingdoms have their public col- 
lections of art, the resort of admiring visitors from all parts of 
the civilized world. 

" But in our country, when the owner of a private gallery of 
art desires to leave his treasures where they can be seen by 
the public, he looks in vain for any institution to which he can 
send them. A public-spirited citizen desires to employ a 
favorite artist upon some great historical picture; here are no 
walls on which it can hang in the public sight. A large col- 
lection of works of art, made at great cost, and with great 
pains, gathered perhaps during a life-time, is for sale in 
Europe. We may find here men willing to contribute to 

1 08 


purchase it, but if it should be brought to our country there 
is no edifice here to give it hospitality. 

" In 1857, during a visit to Spain, I found in Madrid a rich 
private collection of pictures, made by Medraza, an aged 
painter, during a long life, and at a period when frequent 
social and political changes in that country dismantled many 
palaces of the old nobility of the works of art which adorned 
them. In that collection were many pictures by the illus- 
trious elder artists of Italy, Spain, and Holland. The whole 
might have been bought for half its value, but if it had been 
brought over to our country, we had no gallery to hold it. 
The same year I stood in the famous Campana Collection of 
marbles, at Rome, which was then waiting for a purchaser - 
a noble collection, busts and statues of the ancient philoso- 
phers, orators, and poets, the majestic forms of Roman sena- 
tors, the deities of ancient mythology, 

'The fair humanities of old religion,' 

but if they had been purchased by our countrymen and 
landed here, we should have been obliged to leave them in 
boxes, just as they were packed. 

" Moreover, we require an extensive public gallery to 
contain the greater works of our painters and sculptors. The 
American soil is prolific of artists. The fine arts blossom not 
only in the populous regions of our country, but even in its 
solitary places. Go where you will, into whatever museum 
of art in the old world, you will find there artists from the 
new, contemplating or copying the masterpieces of art which 
they contain. Our artists swarm in Italy. When I was 
last at Rome, two years since, I found the number of Ameri- 
can artists residing there as two to one compared with those 
from the British isles. But there are beginners among us 
who have not the means of resorting to distant countries for 
that instruction in art which is derived from carefully study- 



ing works of acknowledged excellence. For these a gallery 
is needed at home, which shall vie with those abroad, if not 
in the multitude, yet in the merit, of the works it contains. 
" Yet further, it is unfortunate for our artists, our painters 
especially, that they too often find their genius cramped by 
the narrow space in which it is constrained to exert itself. 
It is like a bird in a cage which can only take short flights 
from one perch to another and longs to stretch its wings in an 
ampler atmosphere. Producing works for private dwellings, 
our painters are for the most part obliged to confine them- 
selves to cabinet pictures, and have little opportunity for 
that larger treatment of important subjects which a greater 
breadth of canvas would allow them and by which the higher 
and nobler triumphs of their art have been achieved. 

'There is yet another view of the subject, and a most 
important one. When I consider, my friends, the prospect 
which opens before this great mart of the western world, 1 
am moved by feelings which I feel it somewhat difficult to 
clearly define. The growth of our city is already w nder- 
fully rapid; it is every day spreading itself into the surround- 
ing region, and overwhelming it like an inundation. Now 
that our great railway has been laid from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, Eastern Asia and Western Europe will shake hands 
over our republic. New York will be the mart from which 
Europe will receive a large proportion of the products of 
China, and will become not only a center of commerce for the 
New World, but for that region which is to Europe the most 
remote part of the Old. A new impulse will be given to the 
growth of our city, which I cannot contemplate without an 
emotion akin to dismay. Men will flock in greater numbers 
than ever before to plant themselves on a spot so favorable 
to the exchange of commodities between distant regions; and 
here will be an aggregation of human life, a concentration of 
all that ennobles and all that degrades humanity, on a scale 

1 10 


which the imagination cannot venture to measure. To 
great cities resort not only all that is eminent in talent, all 
that is splendid in genius, and all that is active in philan- 
thropy; but also all that is most dexterous in villany, and all 
that is most foul in guilt. It is in the labyrinths of such 
mighty and crowded populations that crime finds its safest 
lurking-places; it is there that vice spreads its most seductive 
and fatal snares, and sin is pampered and festers and spreads 
its contagion in the greatest security. 

" My friends, it is important that we should encounter the 
temptations to vice in this great and too rapidly growing 
capital by attractive entertainments of an innocent and 
improving character. We have libraries and reading-rooms, 
and this is well ; we have also spacious halls for musical enter- 
tainments, and that also is well ; but there are times when we 
do not care to read and are satiate with listening to sweet 
sounds, and when we more willingly contemplate works of 
art. It is the business of the true philanthropist to find 
means of gratifying this preference. We must be beforehand 
with vice in our arrangements for all that gives grace and 
cheerfulness to society. The influence of works of art is whole- 
some, ennobling, instructive. Besides the cultivation of the 
sense of beauty - - in other words, the perception of order, 
symmetry, proportion of parts, which is of near kindred to 
the moral sentiments - the intelligent contemplation of a 
great gallery of works of art is a lesson in history, a lesson in 
biography, a lesson in the antiquities of different countries. 
Half our knowledge of the customs and modes of life among 
the ancient Greeks and Romans is derived from the remains 
of ancient art. 

" Let it be remembered to the honor of art that if it has 
ever been perverted to the purpose of has only been 
at the bidding of some corrupt court or at the desire of some 
opulent and powerful voluptuary whose word was law. 

1 1 1 


When intended for the general eye no such stain rests on the 
works of art. Let me close with an anecdote of the influence 
of a well-known work. I was once speaking to the poet 
Rogers in commendation of the painting of Ary Scheffer, 
entitled Christ the Consoler. 'I have an engraving of it,' 
he answered, 'hanging at my bedside, where it meets my eye 
every morning.' The aged poet, over whom already im- 
pended the shadow that shrouds the entrance to the next 
world, found his morning meditations guided by that work 
to the Founder of our religion. " 

The next speaker was Professor George Fiske Comfort of 
Princeton, who though but a young man, had already 
devoted six years continuously to study in Europe of the 
conditions of art and the nature of the art institutions there. 
So he was able to speak with authority of the relation of art 
to civilization, to emphasize the importance of establishing a 
museum of art, and to indicate what in his opinion should be 
the character of the exhibits, the policy as to arrangement, 
and the methods of administration. It is a noteworthy fact 
that there can be cited scarcely any plan of museum work 
that has been adopted during the last forty years which was 
not at least referred to in this comprehensive address. Loan 
exhibitions, a department of decorative arts, the fitting up of 
lecture rooms and the giving of lectures for the general public, 
the work with school children, the great opportunity that a 
museum has to enrich the lives of the poor: -- all these and 
other features of museum work were outlined in a clear and 
scholarly way. Even the desirability of keeping General 
Cesnola's Cypriote collection in America was suggested. 
The concluding paragraph won enthusiastic applause: 

" In the year 1776 this nation declared her political inde- 
pendence of Europe. The provincial relation was then 
severed as regards politics; may we not now begin insti- 



tutionsthat by the year 1876 shall sever the provincial re- 
lation of America to Europe in respect to Art?" 1 

Mr. Bryant then called on other gentlemen present, who 
responded with words of approval and sympathetic support. 
Richard M. Hunt, as a member of the American Institute 
of Architects, pledged the help of that body in erecting 
the necessary building and told of their efforts toward 
establishing a museum, as follows: 

' The Society of Architects has already been endeavoring 
to fill up this gap, that everyone seems now to take such 
interest in. We commenced some ten years ago with the 
idea of establishing a National Museum, but after a trial of 
several years it was found to be impracticable. And now, 
within the last year or eighteen months, we have com- 
menced the formation of the Architectural Library of the 
City of New York. That is the title; but it is our aim to 
have, at no very future period, a museum similar to the 
Kensington Museum in London. And although our means 
are not coming forward as fast as we could wish, we are in 
hopes soon to have some place where we may gather one of 
the great features that now exists in the Kensington 
Museum - - a Loan Collection of Works of Art. 

" Every day it becomes harder and harder to get hold of 
the chefs-d'oeuvre of antiquity, or even of modern times. 
A few years ago, the Campana Collection was sold. 
My brother and I felt what an immense advantage it would 
be to have the collection in this city, and we endeavored then 
to get gentlemen to purchase the collection. ... If 
that had been accomplished, we should have had the com- 
mencement of a museum similar to those that are now being 
formed in most of the countries of Europe." 

When Russell Sturgis, Jr., then only a beginner in the field 

1 This address may be read in Old and New, under the title of Art Museums 
of America. 



of art, later so distinguished in his chosen branch, archi- 
tecture, was called upon to speak, he also emphasized the 
valuable opportunities for acquiring collections of art that 
were slipping by. 

The Honorable Henry G. Stebbins proffered earnest sym- 
pathy from the Central Park Commission as individuals and 
as a commission and a promise to do their utmost to promote 
the object. 

The Rev. Dr. Joseph P. Thompson of the Broadway 
Tabernacle, whose words were greeted with great applause, 
expressed himself as seeing in "the very grandeur of the 
scale" on which this movement was projected "an element of 
success." He closed with this wish: "I long for the day 
when I can unite with my friend Dr. Bellows, and all men 
throughout this city who are ever called to lift their hands in 
benediction, and stand hand in hand, with our hands up- 
lifted toward Heaven, and invoke our benediction on the 
corner-stone of this Museum of Art, which will also be a 
museum of Virtue, a museum of Purity, and a museum of 
Goodness and Truth." 

C. C. Cole, brother of Henry Cole, then Superintendent 
of the South Kensington Museum, gave as his suggestion 
that especial emphasis should be placed upon the L.oan 
Collection, which from the very first had proved "the very 
back-bone of the South Kensington Museum.' 

The Rev. Dr. Bellows of All Souls' Church was then 
"loudly called for," the account says, and his enthusiastic 
attitude won heartiest applause. Some of his statements, 
then perhaps deemed extravagant, deserve repetition because 
of the literal way in which they have been carried out. For 
example, " I have not been in the least degree discouraged by 
the objections that have been raised here in reference to the 
difficulty of supplying a Museum of the best productions of 
Art. . . . Who is to say when we, through the redun- 



dant wealth with which our prosperity threatens to possess 
us, shall be able to outbid the world in any market for those 
great recondite works of Art which are so necessary to the 
cultivation of every people? Who can say how soon we may 
find ourselves the largest and the safest offerers for the cus- 
tody and protection of the highest of all works in the world?" 

William J. Hoppin, Marshall O. Roberts, W. E. Dodge, Jr., 
and George William Curtis, who for various reasons found 
themselves unable to be present, sent letters of good wishes, 
which were read. Mr. Hoppin urged cooperation with the 
Historical Society, the possessors of a valuable nucleus for 
the proposed collection, and laid special stress upon one point, 
that the Museum "must be built and mainly supported by 
the taxpayers of the City of New York," thus being a public 
institution kept up by public funds. 

In the words of a newspaper writer of the day, "unmis- 
takable enthusiasm and evidence of purpose marked the 
entire proceedings." The immediate results of this first 
public meeting were principally two: awakening public 
interest --a most necessary step in any undertaking - 
and placing the responsibility for the movement definitely 
upon a Provisional Committee, a group of representative 
men, fifty in number, who were interested in art. The last 
result was accomplished by the adoption of the following 


" 1 . That in the opinion of this meeting, it is expedient 
and highly desirable that efficient and judicious measures 
should at once be initiated with reference to the establish- 
ment in this city of a MUSEUM OF ART ; on a scale worthy 
of this metropolis and of a great nation. 

"II. That a Committee of citizens, properly representing 
the various organizations and individuals directly or indi- 
rectly interested in the object, should at once be appointed; 



and that to them the whole subject should be referred, with 
power to fill vacancies in the Committee and to add to their 
numbers; to appoint sub-committees; to prepare a constitu- 
tion and by-laws; to apply for a charter, and to adopt such 
measures as they may find expedient for the accomplishment 
of the above-named object. 

"III. RESOLVED, That the appointment of fifty gentle- 
men, as hereinafter named, to serve on such Committee, 
would be, in our opinion, satisfactory to the whole commun- 
ity; and we hereby respectfully request the gentlemen named 
to take the objects of this meeting into their own hands, and 
to carry them to successful completion by all such means as 
they may deem expedient. 

" IV. That the Secretaries of this meeting be requested 
to notify the gentlemen thus designated, and to call an early 
meeting of this Provisional Committee, viz.: 


















1 16 











Fortunately Alfred J. Bloor remembers what happened 
that same evening after the public meeting. "I recall," 
says he, ... "the supper (still under the roof of the 
hospitable Union League Club) which followed the formal 
endorsement of the preliminary labors of the months before- 
hand. The supper party consisted of twelve, thus escaping 
by only one the unlucky number. The participants con- 
sisted of Mr. Bryant, who occupied the head of the table; 
Mr. Putnam, Mr. A very, Prof. Comfort; two clergymen, 
Drs. Bellows and Thompson; three painters, Messrs. Kensett, 
Baker, and Whittredge; and three of my own profession, Cal- 
vert Vaux, Consulting Architect of the Central Park Board, 
P. B. Wight, architect of the National Academy of Design, 
and myself. Much good humor prevailed over the result of 
the previous exertions of those who had been most active in 
the premises. There was a free exchange of opinion as to the 
prospects of the new-born institution and as to available 
methods for carrying it to success, to which and to the chief 
workers so far toasts were pledged." 

Of course, the following day and for some days to come, 
the various newspapers commented at length on the latest 
project for a Metropolitan Art Museum. We quote from the 
New York Evening Mail: 

" If better guarantee were wanted of a successful issue of 



the project than that given in the other names on the list of 
the committee, those of the Central Park Commissioners 
which we find there would be sufficient to satisfy us that this 
scheme, unlike the abortive efforts of the past in this direc- 
tion, will come to fruit. 

'The cooperation of the Park Commissioners means, in 
the first place, a site worth half a million of dollars, whereon 
to erect a museum; secondly, it means invaluable assistance 
in raising the necessary funds to erect the building; and 
thirdly, it means invaluable advice in its construction and the 
best custodianship of it and its treasures when it is a com- 
pleted thing." 1 

The Provisional Committee held frequent meetings during 
the following months, sometimes at the rooms of the Century 
Club, No. 109 East i5th Street, and again at the rooms of 
Samuel P. Avery, No. 88 Fifth Avenue. Many letters passed 
between different members of the committee. In brief, they 
gave themselves unstintingly to the cause they had espoused. 
Their number was increased from fifty to one hundred and 
sixteen by the appointment of the members of the Art Com- 
mittee of the Union League Club, the officers of the public 
meeting whose names were not already included, and other 
gentlemen. Honorary Corresponding Secretaries both in 
America and Europe were chosen. 

^he Park Commissioners had reason to be interested in any efforts 
toward establishing a museum of art, inasmuch as they themselves in May 
of that same year had been authorized by legislative act "to erect, establish, 
conduct, and maintain in the Central Park in said City, a meteorological 
and astronomical observatory, and a museum of natural history and a 
gallery of art, and the buildings therefor, and to provide the necessary 
instruments, furniture, and equipments for the same." With Andrew H. 
Green, a member of the first Board of Commissioners, who conceived the 
plan of a Central Park, originated the idea of including within that park all 
the buildings necessary for the education or rational pleasure of the people. 
The site selected for this art gallery in the park was the one occupied to-day 
by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and plans adapted to the site were 
prepared by Calvert Vaux and J. W. Mould. 



At the first meeting of the committee, December 7, 1869, 
Hon. Henry G. Stebbins was made President of the Com- 
mittee and Theodore Weston, Secretary. A sub-committee 
of thirteen was appointed, consisting of George P. Putnam, 
who was made Chairman, J. O. A. Ward, S. R. Gifford, 
Joseph H. Choate, Frederick Law Olmsted, William E. 
Dodge, Jr., Andrew H. Green, Lucius H. Tuckerman, 
Robert Hoe, Jr., W. T. Blodgett, John H. Hall, William J. 
Hoppin, and Calvert Vaux, "to draw a plan of organization 
for a Metropolitan Art Museum Association, and to nomi- 
nate a list of officers." 

While this committee was working over such important 
problems, Mr. Putnam, the chairman, received two letters 
of advice and help from which it seems wise to quote freely. 
The first, from Prof. Comfort of Princeton, dated Decem- 
ber 13, 1869, is of interest both as revealing an exact 
knowledge of the conditions in European museums at that 
time and as unfolding the earnest, helpful character of this 
ardent student and teacher of art. He writes, " I hope that 
the committee, in their deliberations, will not overlook the 
Leipsic Museum opened in 1858; the Amsterdam Mu- 
seum opened in 1865; the Gotha Museum with its remarkable 
collection of 20,000 casts of coins; the 'National-Museum' 
now being built in Berlin to contain only modern German 
paintings and sculpture; the ' Deutsches Museum' which 
was established in Nuremberg a few years ago, the object of 
which is to illustrate the application of art to industry in 
Germany as well as other branches of German history; - 
and especially the hitherto unparalleled collection of casts in 
the 'New Museum' of Berlin. 

'The Cluny Museum in Paris, and several of the Musees 
departmentales in such cities of France as Rouen and Lyons 
give perhaps the best illustration of the 'applied arts' of the 
middle ages that are to be found in any European Museums. 



"It would be a misfortune also not to have all of the 
intelligent criticisms and valuable practical suggestions with 
reference to the organization of museums that have come 
before the artistic public in Europe, either in the discussions 
of the archaeological societies or in the archaeological jour- 
nals, taken advantage of in a Metropolitan Museum of Art 
for New York City. The other cities will follow rapidly in 
the wake of New York in this movement, and New York 
should, if possible, put up a museum which should, both in its 
edifice and in its appointments, be a model for the world." 

The second letter, from Rev. Dr. Henry W. Bellows, dated 
January 7, 1870, is an answer to a request for his counsel 
"with reference to the fittest men to have charge of the 
enterprise." The committee had not yet decided, appar- 
ently, what nominations to submit. Dr. Bellows, who 
spoke with such infectious enthusiasm on November 23, 
1869, now expressed his recognition of the difficulties con- 
nected with the project, and the need of men of unusual 
"faith and prevision" to meet and surmount the obstacles. 
"Men," he writes, "who can make provisional agreements 
with the Central Park Trustees for an ample site; who can 
quietly collect the amount necessary to procure from the 
best architects we have, in connection with the best special- 
ists in the history and proper elements of an Art Museum - 
a plan, which can be presented in all its majesty and charm 
to the public and the men of wealth -- and yet which can be 
built piecemeal, as it is needed, or just in advance of the 
need? .... 

" It wants men of middle age, of unabated energy, resolute 
will, and hot enthusiasm to carry forward such a work; and 
among them must be men of art-culture and positive art 

'This class is very small -- for men of affairs and enter- 
prise and executive ability are seldom interested in art, or 



marked with taste and appreciation of the delicate interests 
of the Beautiful; and artists, a brooding, dreamy, meditative 
class, closed to the world by their intensity of passion for their 
coy mistress, are seldom men of practical wisdom, push, and 
enterprise. Still it is in this rare class that we must look 
for the men alone competent to supply alike thought and 
action, both indispensable in this art museum enterprise! 
We must have a Board of Trustees, or a committee - - not 
large eno' to allow factions within it, neutralizing each 
other's zeal; small enough to make the responsibility deeply 
felt by each, and to compact all together by a sense of 
mutual dependence; not too large to take from each a feeling 
that his share in the labor and honor of the enterprise is con- 
siderable and worth striving hard to get and to keep; not so 
small that it will be a clique, and be wholly dominated by one 

'The enterprise wants a Head, to begin with -- one man 
in whose soul the enterprise is a principal thing, and about 
whom the Trustees can rally and fire up with his courage and 
hope and determination. Perhaps this man cannot yet be 
named and is to be discovered by his fellows among the 
Trustees! Until he does appear things will drag; when he 
turns up, the cause is won! It is worth pains to find 

Doctor Bellows concludes with the hope that "the coun- 
cils of the Committee of Fifty will be broad, noble, imper- 
sonal, unprejudiced, and solely animated with a zeal for the 
interests of Art and the glory of our Metropolis and the good 
of Humanity." This quotation by its very emphasis upon 
the noble characteristics of men ideally fitted for the work 
but accentuates the unswerving devotion, the wonderful 
faith, and the abundant works of the real men who were 
pioneers in our Museum. 

On January 4, 1870, the sub-committee made a carefully 



prepared report on the first task - - to draw up a plan of 
organization -- with the articles of the constitution sub- 
mitted for adoption, declaring that "in their judgment the 
proposed Museum should be comprehensive in its scope and 

'That it should include not only collections of paintings 
and sculpture, but should also contain drawings, engravings, 
medals, photographs, architectural models, historical por- 
traits, and specimens illustrating the application of art to 
manufactures; thus affording to our whole people free and 
ample means for innocent and refined enjoyment, and also 
supplying the best facilities for practical instruction and for 
the cultivation of pure taste in all matters connected with 
the fine arts." 

The plan of organization submitted was purposely as 
simple as possible because it was but a provisional consti- 
tution. It was adapted to one end, to secure a collection of 
works of art, and left all details of administration and exhi- 
bition of objects for future decision, on the ground that 
those who later became benefactors of the Museum should 
not be deprived of their rightful share in determining its 
policy. The officers named were a President, three Vice 
Presidents, nine Trustees, a Recording Secretary, a Corres- 
ponding Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Executive Committee 
of thirteen. 

The other task entrusted to the committee of thirteen, that 
of presenting a ticket of nominations for permanent officers, 
was performed most generously by providing not one ticket 
but two "for revision and choice." When this report was 
presented, January 17, 1870, an advisor}' committee com- 
bined the two tickets into one by taking names from both 
lists, the following names standing as the nominations. On 
January 31, 1870, these men were elected as the first officers 
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 























The choice of John Taylor Johnston as President was 
spontaneous. He measured up to Dr. Bellows' standard of 
the " Head " of such an enterprise. He was a man " of 
middle age, of unabated energy, resolute will, and hot 



enthusiasm." Though a man of "affairs, enterprise, and 
executive ability," he had long been interested in art. He 
had assembled in his house the most important collection 
of pictures then in America, which he had freely opened to 
the public. He had a large acquaintance among the artists, 
who were wont to assemble every year at a reception given 
in their honor, and enjoy not only his many works of art 
but that "artists' punch" which Charles Astor Bristed 
celebrated in song. 1 He was abroad at the time and had 
taken no part in the preliminary meetings, but when a cable 
reached him on the Nile offering him the presidency, and 
stating that the enterprise would be launched at once if he 
would accept, the committee promptly received by return 
cable an affirmative reply. 

His presidency of nineteen years was an active one, and 
covered the entire formative period of the Museum's growth. 
Failing health compelled his resignation in 1889, but he 
continued as Honorary President until his death in 1893. 
In the words of the memorial resolution then adopted, 
"To his rare tact, refined taste, large experience, and excel- 
lent judgment the Trustees of the Museum have been 
greatly beholden for the harmony and singleness of purpose 
which have prevailed in their councils, the prodigiously rapid 
growth of their collections, and the ample esteem in which 
the Museum is now held by the public." 

It is difficult for us to realize the position in which these 
first officers found themselves. They had no building, not 
even a site, no existing collection as a nucleus, no ready 
money to use, no legal title or status, only the "clearly 
defined idea of a Museum of Art and the united will to 
create it," as William C. Prime, later First Vice President, 
said years afterward, and yet he was able to record that there 

1 See a poem entitled That Punch!!! and dated Feb. 1 1, 1865, which was 
printed for private circulation. 



was "no hesitation, no pause, no shadow or cloud, not an 
hour of doubt or discouragement." 

The drafting of a charter, the adoption of a permanent 
constitution and by-laws, and the defining of a proper policy: 
these were imperative as the next steps. On the i3th day of 
April, 1870, the Legislature of the State of New York granted 
an act of incorporation to the officers and George William 
Curtis under the name of The Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, "to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose 
of establishing and maintaining in said city a museum and 
library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the 
fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and 
practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred 
subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction 
and recreation." 

At a meeting held May 24, 1870, termed the First Annual 
Meeting, the permanent constitution was adopted. For 
record, at least, this should be included here. 


The persons named in the Act of Incorporation, and such 
of their associates in the unincorporated Association hereto- 
fore known as "The Metropolitan Museum of Art," as shall 
on the adoption of this Corporation and charter sign their 
names thereto in token of acceptance thereof, shall be mem- 
bers of this Corporation. 

Whenever by death, resignation, or otherwise, the number 
of members shall be less than two hundred and fifty, new 
members may be elected to fill up that number, but not to 
exceed the same. Such new members shall be elected only 
upon the nomination of the Trustees, at a regular meeting of 
the Corporation, and the votes of two-thirds of the members 
present at such meeting shall be requisite to an election of a 
new member. 



The officers of this Corporation shall be a President, nine 
Vice-Presidents, twenty-one Trustees, a Treasurer, a Record- 
ing Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, the several Com- 
mittees hereinafter named, and such Special Committees as 
shall from time to time be created by the Trustees. 


The President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and Secretaries 
shall be elected annually, by ballot, at the annual meeting to 
be held on the second Monday in May, at eight o'clock p. M. 
They shall each hold office for the term of one year, and until 
their successors are elected. At the first annual meeting 
twenty-one Trustees shall be elected by ballot; and the Trus- 
tees so elected shall at their first meeting be divided by lot 
into seven classes, of three each; the first class to hold office 
for one year, the second for two years, the third for three 
years, the fourth for four years, the fifth for five years, the 
sixth for six years, the seventh for seven years. And at 
each subsequent annual election three Trustees only 'shall be 
elected by ballot to fill the places of the class whose term shall 
then expire, and to hold their offices for seven years. The 
President and the Treasurer of this Corporation, and also the 
Mayor of the City of New York, the Governor of the State 
of New York, the President of the Department of Public 
Parks in the City of New York, the Commissioner of Public 
Works in the City of New York, the President of the National 
Academy of Design, and the President of the New York 
Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for the time 
being, shall also be ex-officio Trustees of this Corporation. 


The Trustees shall have the general management of the 



affairs of the Corporation, and the control of its property. 
They shall meet quarterly, on the third Monday of every 
March, May, September, and December, at an hour and 
place to be designated, on at least one week's written notice 
from the Secretary; and shall annually, at the quarterly 
meeting in May, elect, from their own number, Executive, 
Auditing, and Finance Committees for the ensuing year. 
They shall also meet at any other time to transact special 
business, on a call of the Secretary, who shall issue such call 
whenever requested so to do, in writing, by five Trustees, or 
by the President, and give written notice to each Trustee of 
such special meeting, and of the object thereof, at least three 
days before the meeting is held. Any vacancies occurring in 
the Board of Trustees otherwise than by the expiration of the 
term of office for which a Trustee shall have been elected, 
shall be filled by the remaining Trustees by ballot, and the 
Trustee so elected shall take the place of the Trustee whose 
office has become vacant, and hold his office for the same term 
as such original Trustee would have held. Any such 
vacancy occurring in any other office shall be filled, until the 
next annual election, by the Trustees, by ballot. 


The President, and in his absence, the Senior Vice-Presi- 
dent present, shall preside at all the meetings of the Museum. 
The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of the proceed- 
ings of the Trustees, of the Executive Committee, and of the 
Auditing Committee, and shall preserve the seal, archives, 
and correspondence of the Museum, shall issue notices for all 
meetings of the Trustees, and attend the same. The Cor- 
responding Secretary shall conduct the correspondence of the 
Museum, be present, and participate in all meetings of the 
Trustees and Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall 
receive, and, under the direction of the Finance Committee, 



disburse the funds of the Museum. He shall keep the ac- 
counts of the Museum in books belonging to it, which shall 
be at all times open to the inspection of the Trustees. He 
shall report in writing at each quarterly meeting of the Trus- 
tees, the balance of money on hand, and the outstanding 
obligations of the Museum, as far as practicable, and shall 
make a full report, at the annual meeting, of the receipts and 
disbursements of the past year, with such suggestions as to 
the financial management of the Museum as he may deem 


The Executive Committee shall consist of five. They shall 
have the immediate charge, control, and regulation of the 
Collections, Library, and other property of the Museum, and 
shall have power to purchase, sell, and exchange the pictures, 
and other Works of Art, Curiosities, and Books of the Mus- 
eum, to employ agents, to regulate the manner and terms of 
exhibiting the Museum to the public, and generally to carry 
out in detail the directions of the Trustees; but neither the 
Executive Committee, nor any officer or agent of the Mu- 
seum, shall incur any expense, liability, or indebtedness for 
the Museum, without the express authority of the Trustees, 
given by a vote of the Board at a regular meeting thereof. 
The President and Treasurer shall also be, ex-officio, mem- 
bers of the Executive Committee. 


The Auditing Committee shall consist of three, none of 
whom shall belong to the Executive Committee, and it shall 
be their duty to examine and certify all bills presented 
against the corporation; and no bills shall be paid unless first 
approved in writing by at least two members of this Com- 



The Finance Committee shall consist of three, including 
the Treasurer, and it shall be their duty to take charge of and 
invest the funds of the Museum in its name, and to take all 
proper measures to provide means for its support. 


Eleven of the Trustees, exclusive of the ex-officio members, 
shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but 
five Trustees meeting may adjourn and transact current 
business, subject to the subsequent approval of a meeting 
at which a quorum shall be present. 


Special Meetings of the Corporation may be called at any 
time by the Secretary, upon an order of the President, or the 
written request of any ten members, and at all meetings of 
the Corporation twenty members shall constitute a quorum. 


By-laws may from time to time be made by the Trustees, 
providing for the care and management of the property of the 
Corporation, and for the government of its affairs. 

Such By-laws, when once adopted, may be amended at 
any meeting of the Trustees by a vote of a majority of those 
present, after a month's notice, in writing, of such proposed 


The contribution of one thousand dollars or more to the 
fund of the Museum, at one time, shall entitle the person 
giving the same to be a Patron of the Museum. 

The contribution of five hundred dollars, at one time, shall 
entitle the person giving the same to be a Fellow in Perpetu- 



ity, who shall have the right to appoint his successor in such 
Fellowship in Perpetuity. 

The contribution of two hundred dollars, at one time, shall 
entitle the person giving the same to be a Fellow for Life. 

Any person may be elected by the Trustees to either of the 
above degrees, who shall have donated to the Museum Books 
or Works of Art, which shall have been accepted by the 
Executive Committee, to the value of twice the amount in 
money requisite to his admission to the same degree, and the 
President and Secretary shall issue Diplomas accordingly, 
under the seal of the Museum. The Trustees may also elect 
Honorary Fellows of the Museum in their discretion. 

All persons receiving such degrees and diplomas shall be 
entitled at all times to free admission to the Museum, but 
shall not, by virtue of such degrees and diplomas, become 
members of the Corporation. 


No alterations shall be made in this Constitution unless 
by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of 
the Corporation at the time being, nor without notice in writ- 
ing of the proposed alteration, embodying the amendment 
proposed to be made, having been given by the Secretary at 
least thirty days before the meeting at which such amend- 
ment shall be considered. 

The committee to which was given the important work of 
determining the proper policy of the Association had reported 
in February, 1870. Their vision of a many-sided museum 
and their unwillingness to plan for anything less compre- 
hensive than that must challenge our admiration. From 
their report we cull these words: "The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art should be based on the idea of a more or 
less complete collection of objects illustrative of the History 



of Art from the earliest beginnings to the present time. 
We consider this definition important. It will be seen that 
whilst it gives a distinct purpose to our efforts, it includes 
all the aims, whether industrial, educational, or recreative, 
which can give value to such an institution. 

" In making purchases, the object would be in the outset to 
limit and define their direction so as not to dissipate means 
without producing tangible results. Fortunately, there is a 
large class of objects of the highest beauty, and of inestimable 
value toward the formation of sound taste in Art, which can 
be had in great completeness by a comparatively moderate 
expenditure, and with the smallest possible delay. These are 
the casts of statues and sculpture of all sorts, of architectural 
subjects and details. 

"In this direction, with reasonable good judgment, it is 
impossible to go wrong, The same may be said of the for- 
mation of a Library of Art, consisting of all works of value on 
all its branches and history. This we consider a prime es- 

"The purchase of collections of undoubted value, and of 
single objects in special directions, is, of course, a subject of 
first-rate importance, but it is obvious that its consideration 
must be deferred until the completion of an organization and 
the possession of ample means, and form part of a carefully 
considered system. 

'The principle should be to keep in view the historical aim 
of the collection, and to admit no works but those of an 
acknowledged and representative value." 

Naturally the suggestion of holding loan exhibitions, which 
had come from C. C. Cole at the first public meeting, was 
carefully considered during this formative period. A Loan 
Exhibition Committee, Russell Sturgis, Chairman, appointed 
February 14, 1870, reported six weeks later in a long discus- 
sion of pros and cons that a Loan Exhibition was both possi- 


ble and advisable, but that it would be impossible to find any 
building at all suitable for the purpose. This matter came 
up again in January, 1871, when Messrs. Tiffany and 
Company offered free use of the second story of their new 
building on Union Square for a two months' loan exhibition. 
The letter, so encouraging in its unlooked-for proffer of help, 
reads thus: 

"It having been suggested to Mr. Tiffany that the Na- 
tional Museum at Kensington owes its origin to an exhibition 
of rare objects, lent to the Society of Arts, and that New York 
only needed a suitable building to warrant a commensurate 
success, he desires me to tender to you, sir, and through you 
to the other gentlemen, directors of the Museum of Science 
and Art, for that purpose free of expense, the use for sixty 
days of the second floor of this building. 

" Happy in being the medium of an offer so likely to 
awaken public feeling for art, and in hope of the more san- 
guine expectations being realized, 

" I remain, dear sir, yours very respectfully, 


This was a generous offer that might well seem at first sight 
to require no action but grateful acceptance, but the Loan 
Exhibition Committee pointed out that the effort, time, and 
money required for an exhibition which could be only tem- 
porary might better be expended in furthering the main 
purpose of the organization. To turn aside from their prin- 
cipal aim, which was to obtain a site and a building for a 
permanent collection, might prove but to dissipate their 
energy. If, however, the subscription were unattainable 
without some such means to win popular favor, then the 
loan exhibition should be undertaken as a last resource. 
After a discussion of all the aspects of the question, the 
Executive Committee declined the generous offer but con- 


veyed to Messrs. Tiffany & Co. their high appreciation of 
the motives which prompted their liberal action. 

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was the amount 
which the Trustees determined to raise by subscription, a 
sum pitiably small, in the retrospect of forty years, with 
which to start an institution whose money resources, quite 
aside from its collections, now aggregate nearly forty 
times as much. But dollars were fewer then. The can- 
vass for subscriptions was quietly but persistently and sys- 
tematically carried on during 1870 and 1871. The names 
of those who might be interested in the establishment of 
the Museum were apportioned to different officers of the 
association for personal interview and appeal. Every 
member recognized that the success of the undertaking 
depended upon the possibility of raising the needed money. 
To tell the whole truth, we must acknowledge that only a 
small percentage of the men approached for money in this 
personal canvass responded to the appeal. Yet by March, 
1871, $106,000 in amounts ranging from $10,000, the gift 
made by John Taylor Johnston, to $100, had been pledged 
by one hundred and six persons, one hundred and five men 
and one woman, Miss Catharine L. Wolfe, whose name is 
familiar to many through her later benefactions. At one 
meeting the Executive Committee was directed to inquire 
into the desirability of appointing a committee of ladies to 
solicit subscriptions, but apparently this was not deemed 
desirable. The rapid increase in wealth in New York City 
since 1870 is strikingly illustrated by contrasting the scale of 
giving then with the much larger sums received to-day. 
Only three men gave $5,000 or over for the establishment of 
the Museum: John Taylor Johnston, $10,000; W. T. Blod- 
gett, $5,000; and Alexander T. Stewart, $5,000. 

In March, 1871, a pamphlet was issued containing the 
subscription list and an address to the people of New York, 



to inform them what had now been accomplished and what 
was planned for the future. One announcement reads: 
"The Officers of the Museum desire especially to begin at an 
early day the formation of a collection of industrial art, of 
objects of utility to which decorative art has been applied, 
ornamental metalwork, carving in wood, ivory, and stone, 
painted glass, glass vessels, pottery, enamel, and all other 
materials. The time is particularly favorable for purchases 
in this great department, and the need of forming such a 
collection for the use of our mechanics and students is most 
obvious and pressing." In this, as in other statements, the 
influence of the South Kensington Museum upon the Metro- 
politan Museum is very evident. 

An abstract of the pamphlet, published in the newspapers, 
called forth editorial comment universally congratulatory. 
The Evening Mail voiced the common feeling in a daringly 
hopeful prediction: "We believe that the Metropolitan Art 
Museum enterprise is not only handsomely launched, but 
that the most trying era of its history has been passed. The 
gentlemen who have devoted so much of their time and labor 
to the work of preliminary organization have had much to 
do that will never see the light or be generally appreciated, 
but they ought to receive the approbation of the community 
for the care and judgment with which they have laid the 
foundations of an enterprise grand enough in its now almost 
assured future to yield lasting credit to all the movers in its 
inception. The subsequent work of the friends of the 
Museum will be comparatively plain and easy. Subscrip- 
tions will pour in with an arithmetical ratio of increase, as it 
becomes understood that the project is no longer merely 
speculative but a substantial and growing reality. As is 
usual in all such cases, 'the crowd will follow the crowd/ 
success will bring other successes, and at last there will be 
few men of means in the City who will not be unwilling or 



ashamed to decline the honor of aiding in the establishment 
of a Museum worth}- to rank with most of those in the Old 
World." 1 

Yet less than a twelvemonth before, little was generally 
known of the real status of the Museum project, though, as 
we know, much had been quietly accomplished. In fact, the 
Home Journal of April 20, 1870, just one week after the char- 
ter was obtained, published an editorial amusingly wide the 
mark, as the following extract will show: 

'There was inaugurated last year, as some may remember, 
'The Association of the Metropolitan Art Museum.' This 
association started with an art collection in posse rivaling 
those of the Vatican, the Louvre, the Pinacothek, and several 
other European attempts. It was a veritable ornament to 
the city, and a precious acquisition to the art resources of the 
country. Just what this organization has since accom- 
plished, or where it is to be found at present, we cannot say. 
When last heard from, it had a great future before it, but 
exhibited no signals of alarm or distress. We are confident 
it 'still lives.' It must be in existence somewhere, for 
certainly such a body could not so soon evaporate from the 
solar system by any natural process. It may be in the con- 
dition of Mr. Bryant's celebrated waterfowl, which he saw 
diving into the sunset, and which, he states, went on ' lone 
wandering but not lost. ' That the association will some day 
reappear on the arena of affairs we cannot doubt. Resurgam, 
Non omnis woriar, Rara avis, and other passages in the 
dictionary of quotations all point to a reappearance." 
From March, 1871, no alert editor could question the exis- 
tence of the Museum, for conditions permitted much more 
use of advertising, of which the officers took full advantage. 

By the pamphlet of March, 1871, the Trustees announced 
a fact of prime importance, that through the purchase by 
1 N. Y. Evening Mail, March 14, 1871. 



two officers of the museum, a collection of one hundred and 
seventy-four paintings, principally Dutch and Flemish, but 
including representative works of the Italian, French, English, 
and Spanish Schools, had been secured for the Museum. 
This happy result was due to the foresight and generosity of 
William T. Blodgett, assisted by John Taylor Johnston. Mr. 
Blodgett during the preceding summer had been able to pur- 
chase on most advantageous terms, owing to the outbreak of 
war between France and Prussia, two collections: one of one 
hundred pictures from the gallery of a well-known citizen of 
Brussels, and one of seventy-four pictures owned by a dis- 
tinguished Parisian gentleman. These were bought at Mr. 
Blodgett's own expense and risk, but with the intention of 
permitting the Museum to benefit by his purchase, if the 
Trustees so desired. Mr. Blodgett's ov/n statement in a 
letter read before the Trustees November 19, 1870, shows the 
disinterested character of his offer and refutes the asser- 
tion of some men of his day that he had acted in excess 
of his authority. He writes, "Should the action of the 
undersigned be assumed by the Committee and Board of 
Trustees, he proposes to transfer the collection to the Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, ... at the original cost, and 
further the undersigned, to insure and protect the Museum, 
. . . is willing that the Trustees should have the right to 
reject at the time of purchase, any picture or pictures not 
fully established by the certificates of the experts . . . 
as originals . . . and in the event of such rejection, the 
rejected picture or pictures to be returned to the under- 
signed, at a valuation to be agreed upon by him and the 
Trustees." Before this generous offer had been accepted, 
John Taylor Johnston had assumed one-half of the cost 
($116,180.27 including expenses), borrowing on joint ac- 
count with Mr. Blodgett $100,000 from the Bank of America. 
In March, 1871, the Museum assumed the purchase and 



agreed to pay the amount whenever the requisite funds were 
at hand. 

Thus by the forceful initiative of two men, the Museum 
came into possession of a valuable nucleus towards its per- 
manent gallery. When Mr. Johnston first saw a part of the 
pictures, he wrote to Mr. Blodgett," I have just returned from 
a survey of the pictures, with Ward and Hoppin. 1 am 
simply delighted. . . . The quality of the collection as a 
whole is superior to anything I had dared to hope, while the 
number of masterpieces is very great and what we have 
reason to be proud of. ... Hoppin and I both agreed 
that 'it was very magnanimous in Blodgett not to keep some 
of those fine things when he had it in his power. ' I fear I 
couldn't have done it. I would have had at least to have 
taken out that Van Dyck, or perished." Later Mr. John- 
ston added, "Three days have but deepened my impression 
that we have secured a great prize, and I do feel desirous to 
let you know that impression, especially as I was one of those 
that thought you had been somewhat rash in the original 
purchase. 1 am very glad of it and only hope all other 
rashnesses may turn out so well." The editor of the 
Gazette des Beaux-Arts in turn thought this purchase of suffi- 
cient importance to print two articles congratulating the 
new museum on its fortunate purchase and describing the 
individual pictures. 1 It may be well to couple with this early 
opinion what Mr. Choate said forty years later, "Let me say 
that the collection bought then on the responsibility of one 
man . . . was so good and contained so many old 
masters that very few of those he bought have been rejected 
or laid aside." 

1 Louis Decamps. Un Musee Transatlantique, in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 
January and May, 1872. The most important of these paintings were 
etched by M. Jules Jacquemart and published by Messrs. P. & D. Col- 
naghi of London. In this way they became more generally known abroad. 



One other most important accomplishment during 1871 
was the passage by the Legislature on April 5th of "an act 
in relation to the powers and duties of the Board of Com- 
missioners of the Department of Public Parks" of the City 
of New York by which among other clauses they were 
"authorized to construct, erect, and maintain upon that 
portion of the Central Park formerly known as Manhattan 
Square, or any other public park, square, or place" in the 
city "a suitable fireproof building for the purpose of estab- 
lishing and maintaining therein a Museum and Gallery of 
Art by The Metropolitan Museum of Art" at an "aggre- 
gate cost of not exceeding a sum of which the annual in- 
terest is thirty-five thousand dollars." The same act 
made a similar provision for the American Museum of 
Natural History. Thereby it became lawful for the 
Comptroller of the City of New York to create and issue 
"a public fund or stock to be denominated the 'Museums 
of Art and Natural History Stock'." 

For several weeks previous to this date a committee 
of the Museum working jointly with a committee 
from the American Museum of Natural History had exer- 
cised all vigilance and discretion in pushing this bill through 
the Legislature. They had written letters and persuaded 
others to do the same; they had personally repaired to 
Albany with petitions signed by many prominent New 
Yorkers, and had influenced others to reenforce their efforts. 

At the fortieth annual meeting of the Museum, Professor 
Comfort recalled one incident in these stirring times as 
follows: "I will refer to the petition which was signed by 
owners of more than one-half of the real estate of New York 
City, to the Legislature, requesting that authority be given 
to the city to tax itself for one half a million of dollars for 
museum buildings to be placed upon a park. I, represent- 
ing this Museum, and a representative of the Museum of 



Natural History took the petition to Albany. Tweed and 
Sweeney were in power then. We arrived there about noon 
and about half-past two we were told to see Mr. Tweed and 
Mr. Sweeney . . . and the other heads of the party in 
power, and to lay our paper before them. . . . 

"We arrived there and we were placed in seats behind 
Mr. Tweed as he sat at a table, and he said: 'We will see 
what the New York papers say about us to-day/ and there 
they were, and as we handed the paper in, he looked at 
it a moment, saw the heading and instantly, with that 
celerity of action for which he was noted, he took it to 
a room, and said: 'You will see Mr. Sweeney. He will 
take charge of this.' Then Mr. Sweeney took the paper 
and skipped the heading, and looked at the names, and 
when he saw the names attached to it, then he turned 
back and read the heading. And as I watched his face 
there was not the quiver of an eye, or twitch of the mus- 
cles, but he turned quickly and said: 'Please inform these 
gentlemen that we are the servants of the people. This is 
New York. New York wishes this and please inform them 
and say that they can see us on two or three details of the 
matter, and then this will go through.' 

" We telegraphed to New York and two or three gentlemen 
came up, and Mr. Sweeney came and said : ' This is just in our 
line, in line with our ideas of progress in New York City. We 
are the elected and official representatives of the City and you 
ask this sum to be given to a Museum to be built on city 
property. Now, as representatives of the city we must con- 
trol that building,' and as quick as thought, our Com- 
mittee turned and conceded that point, and the statute was 
passed, and with that commenced the cooperation of the 
municipality with the individual contributors." 

This may well stand as the close of the period of establish- 
ment. The first year of the legal existence of the Museum 



was finished, the first annual report submitted May 8, 1871. 
Whatever difficulties the future might present, some things 
had been definitely accomplished, and could not be undone. 
The beginning of a collection of works of art had been 
secured, and legislative authority had been given to the 
city to erect a museum building. 






THE next problem that confronted the Museum was to 
find some building as conveniently located and suit- 
ably arranged as possible for temporary occupancy, 
to exhibit the paintings already in the possession of the 
Museum, but stored in Cooper Union for want of an exhibition 
room. The Dodworth Building, 681 Fifth Avenue, between 
53d and 54th Streets, a private residence that had been altered 
for Allen Dodworth's Dancing Academy was leased December 
i, 1871, for $9,000 annually, the lease to expire May i, 1874. 
The property included a stable, the rent of which would be 
a slight asset for the Museum. This earliest home of the 
Museum was exceptionally well constructed for the purpose. 
"A skylight let into the ceiling of the large hall where the 
poetry of motion had been taught to so many of the young 
men and maidens of New York, converted it into a picture 
gallery." 1 

Representatives of the press and artists were invited here 
to a private view of the pictures on February 17, 1872, and 
punch and oysters were served. The opening reception for 
subscribers and their friends was held on February 2Oth. 
We are fortunate in having a memorandum in George P. 
Putnam's handwriting containing the names of the news- 

1 W. L. Andrews. Bulletin, Vol. II, p. i. In the directories of 1869 to 
1871, and again from 1874 for several years, Mr. Dodworth is recorded as 
occupying this building for his dancing academy. 



papers and magazines that were to be included in the dis- 
tribution of invitations, and certain individuals, who as art 
critics or interested friends should not be forgotten. Among 
the periodicals we find some no longer published, as The 
Home Journal, The Liberal Christian, The Golden Age, the 
Albion, The Hearth and Home, and The Galaxy. 

We are fortunate also in possessing two letters written by 
John Taylor Johnston to William Tilden Blodgett, which 
transport us to those days of eager hope, so decisive for good 
or ill. 

"February 10, 1872. 

" We are just in the stir and bustle of preparing to open the 
Museum. The pictures are hung and look remarkably well. 
Some cracking and blistering has taken place after all the 
care with which they were cradled, etc., but not much. The 
great question has been about the Loan Exhibition. Sturgis 
and the Loan Committee have held back about it. but the 
rest of us have been of the opinion that small collections in 
the different departments would indicate the breadth of our 
designs, while the smallness of our space would sufficiently 
explain the lack of quantity. It is now understood that the 
center of the exhibition room is to have a row of low cases for 
bronzes or whatever they can secure that will not obstruct 
the view of the pictures. High cases will succeed when the 
novelty of the collection is worn off. My Napoleon goes into 
the room north of hall. Captain Alden's wood carvings are 
secured and are to be in the N. E. basement room. 1 The 

'Three confessionals and considerable wall paneling, remarkably fine 
examples of sixteenth and seventeenth century carved oak, which came 
from Ghent, from the suppressed convent of the Bequine sisters, and were 
purchased by Colonel Bradford R. Alden, U. S. A., in London, were lent 
to the Museum by Mrs. Alden. When the Museum removed to Central 
Park, they were taken to New Haven and later became the property of 
the Yale School of the Fine Arts. 



sarcophagus on inspection turns out to be a fine work of art, 
late Roman, probably a royal tomb. The Westchester 
Apollo is still to be investigated. . . . The pictures 
overflow the great hall and are to have the best place in 
the rooms also. The hanging committee have worked like 

" 1 observe what you say about additional purchase of 
Dutch and Flemish pictures. Personally 1 should like and 
prefer to follow up that school and make the Gallery strong 
in one thing, and it may be found judicious to do so. Much 
will depend, however, on how our pictures take with the 
public. Unless they are a decided success, it may be well 
to branch out in some other line before going deeper into 
pictures, the more so as our space (is limited). 

"Gordon is slowly collecting in the (subscriptions?). The 
debt in bank is reduced to $15,000, perhaps some less. It is 
a shame to our citizens that the amount was not forth- 
coming at once. 

' The general opening is to be on the 2oth and we hope to 
make it a success. On the i yth we have the press and some 
of the artists; on the igth the Trustees. 

"We will soon therefore know what is thought of our 
labors so far. 

"February 22, 1872. 

" Hoppin tells me that he has written you at some length 
about our great success in getting together the Artists and 
Pressmen. . . . Personally, 1 felt very apprehensive 
of the effect of inviting the disaffected artist element and the 
gentlemen of the Press, but it all worked very well. One 
party who came there with an artist told me afterwards that 
they halted for a moment before going in, in front of the 



building, and the artist told him it was a 'd -- d humbug' 
and added he, ' 1 thought so too, but when we came out we 
thought very differently.' 

"Our public reception on the 2Oth was an equal success. 
We had a fine turnout of ladies and gentlemen and all were 
highly pleased. The pictures looked splendidly and com- 
pliments were so plenty and strong that 1 was afraid the 
mouths of the Trustees would become chronically and per- 
manently fixed in a broad grin. The Loan Committee 
worked hard at the last and got together a few things of 
interest, and perhaps it was as well that at the first there 
should be little to take off the attention from the pictures 
and also that we should be able to announce from time to 
time additions to the Loan Exhibition. Vela's Napoleon 1 was 
in place and looked splendidly and excited universal admira- 
tion. It is better, if anything, than the original and the 
marble is perfect. 1 saw it myself, for the first time, on the 
reception evening and was perfectly satisfied. We have 
secured but not yet put up Mr. Alden's fine woodwork. It 
is much finer than we had supposed, having only before seen 
it in the cellar. 

' The Westchester Apollo turns out to be three feet high, a 
statuette. We decided, however, to take it. 

'' Mr. Rowe presents us with a colossal dancing girl by 
Schwanthaler, the celebrated German sculptor at Munich. 
It may be very fine, but eight feet of dance is a trial to the 
feelings. Hereafter, we must curb the exuberance of donors 
except in the article of money, of which latter they may give 
as much as they please. The sarcophagus has not yet been 
moved up but will be soon. I think 1 wrote you that Sturgis 
on examination liked it very much. J. Augustus Johnson 

1 This marble by Vincenzo Vela from the John Taylor Johnston Collec- 
tion is now exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C., 
and is catalogued as The Last Days of Napoleon I. 



(the donor) has since seen it and pronounces it a fine speci- 
men of the later Roman and probably a royal tomb. It will 
be more carefully examined when 'in situ.' 

"We may now consider the Museum fairly launched and 


under favorable auspices. People were generally surprised, 
and agreeably so, to find what we had. No one had imag- 
ined that we could make such a show, and the disposition to 
praise is now as general as the former disposition to de- 
preciate. We have now something to point to as the 
Museum, something tangible and something good. The cry 
of humbug can hardly be raised now by anyone. , I 



believe, says very little now about the swindle of the two New 
York merchants and the Loan Committee intend to come 

down on him for the loan of some of his pretty things. 

has forgotten his insulting note declining a post in the 
Museum board, and now says he supposes 'they' think they 
can get along without him. And with others there is the 
same indication of a change in the current. 

"It would have gratified you to have heard the regret 
expressed that you could not have been with us to have 
enjoyed the triumph of success after having given so much 
time, trouble, and personal risk to the Institution. It was 
the only thing wanting to the perfection of the evening. 

"Gordon is slowly getting in the money and we are slowly 
increasing the list of subscribers. We are also busy with the 
question of site and have met the commissioners several times. 
It looks very much as if they would consent to our having 
Reservoir Square and give the Natural History the vacant 
ground on the east side of Central Park. This delighteth 
much all, or nearly all, but Church and myself, who are 
Central Parkers. Anyhow, we are almost certain to have a 
decision made soon and permanently. 

Yours very truly, 

From February 22nd, as the newspapers announced, the 
gallery was open to the public virtually free; that is, admit- 
tance was gained by obtaining tickets from the subscribers, 
and these were gratuitously distributed to the public in large 
numbers. Mondays the gallery was closed during the day 
for cleaning, but open in the evening from 7 till 10 o'clock; 
other week-days it was open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. The 
first of the long list of Museum catalogues was prepared to 
give information about the pictures. It contained the attri- 



butions and comments of the experts, Messieurs Etienne Le 
Roy, and Leon Gauchez. 

The occupancy of a gallery necessitated the appointment 
of a Superintendent, which need was most happily met by 
George P. Putnam's generous offer of his services without 
salary for one year, stipulating only that he have an assist- 
ant or clerk and his own incidental expenses. Accord- 
ingly an assistant was employed for $12 per week. No one 
could come to the position with a greater knowledge of the 
situation or a stronger interest in the growth and success 
of the Museum than Mr. Putnam. From the moment of 
the first suggestion made to the Union League Club to the 
time of his death on December 20, 1872, less than a year 
after he became Superintendent, he was active in the counsels 
of the Museum and untiring in its service. He made the 
following report to the Trustees on May 20, 1872, when the 
Museum had been open to the public about three months: 
"The number of visitors to the Museum to the present time 
is about 6,000-- including Artists, Students, Critics, and 
Amateurs from other cities and especially a considerable 
number of visitors from Boston. The Supt. has taken 
pains to learn as accurately as possible the real impression 
which the Collection has made upon these Visitors and he 
is able to say that the Verdict has not only been favor- 
able, without exception, but in nearly every instance, very 
agreeable surprise has been expressed in regard to the interest 
and excellence of the Collection. Those persons especially 
who appear to be most familiar with the Galleries of Europe, 
and with Art generally, have been most emphatic and en- 
thusiastic in their remarks on our pictures." 

The relationship between the Museum and students who 
desired to copy pictures was very early discussed and deter- 
mined. On April i, 1872, it was decided that Tuesday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 9 to 12 



o'clock should be set apart for students, and that they 
should submit one or more studies to a committee to prove 
their ability to take advantage of the privilege. 

One very weighty question awaited the verdict of the 
Executive Committee. A certain lace parasol belonging 
to a Mrs. Taylor had been "stolen" from the Hall of the 
Museum. The Committee, with due regard for the loser's 
feelings, yet proper caution lest other lace parasols should 
disappear, resolved "That this matter, involving a precedent 
of some importance, be referred to the Trustees, the Execu- 
tive Committee not being empowered by the Constitution to 
make such disbursements without special authority; and 
that Mrs. Taylor be so informed by the Secretary." Having 
followed the fortunes of the lace parasol so far, we turn with 
curiosity to the next mention of it and find the Treasurer 
authorized to pay $24, the valuation placed upon it. 

The Executive Committee certainly lost no time in in- 
augurating the custom of giving lectures on art in the 
Museum building. On March 6th, they voted to ask 
Hiram Hitchcock, later a valued Trustee and the Treasurer 
of the Museum, to read to the Trustees and their friends, 
his lecture upon General di Cesnola's discoveries in Cyprus. 
This first Museum lecture was delivered on the evening of 
the twenty-fifth of March, and "was listened to with great 
pleasure by a large audience." Only a month later, April 
22nd, came the second Museum lecture when Russell Sturgis, 
Jr., spoke on Ceramic Art. 

While the Trustees were taking up these various lines of 
work in their temporary gallery, they were also considering 
with the Park Commissioners questions involved in the 
grant to them of a permanent building. The site designated 
in the law of April 5, 1871,* was Manhattan Square, which we 

1 For the law itself see Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, 
N. Y. 1910, p. 40. 



know today as the location of the American Museum of 
Natural History, and the plan suggested was that the two 
museums should occupy the same building or buildings upon 
the same square. Acting upon this understanding, a special 
sub-committee on buildings representing both museums and 
consisting of such architects as Messrs. Sturgis, Hunt, Ren- 
wick, and Weston, and such men of affairs as Theodore 
Roosevelt, drew up a set of recommendations for the design, 
which are of interest to us as embodying their opinion of the 
needs of museum construction. 

"First: The two Museums require very different exhibi- 
tion rooms and different arrangements of interiors; they 
should therefore be separate and their designs should be 
independent each of the other. 

"Second: The building of each Museum should be so 
planned as to enclose ultimately a court or courts which may 
be roofed with glass, the floors of these courts to be con- 
tinuous with the floors of the lower or ground stories of the 
surrounding buildings. 

'Third: The surrounding buildings to be, so far as the 
Exhibition rooms are concerned, not more than two stories 

"Fourth: The second story to be partly lighted from the 
roof, and partly by side light. 

"Fifth: The Basement to be high enough and well 
lighted enough to be used for packing rooms, rooms for re- 
pair and preparation, etc. 

"Sixth: The buildings to be perfectly fire-proof; the 
basements to be vaulted in brick, concrete, or beton with- 
out the use of iron. Cast iron columns not to be used in any 
part of the buildings. 

"Seventh: The exterior of the buildings to be in stone, 
granite, or marble. 

" Eighth: That any designs that may be accepted by the 


Executive Committee of either Museum, whether as final 
plans for, or to be recommended to the Commissioners of 
Public Parks, should be demonstrable within the limit, so 
far as cost is concerned, of the appropriations already made 
for the purpose." 

Not long afterward, we find the Trustees favoring a 
change of location from Manhattan Square to such other 
park or place as the Park Commissioners might adopt. 
Reservoir Square, now known as Bryant Park, adjoining 
the present site of the New York Public Library, was the 
unanimous choice of the Executive Committee. In accord- 
ance with this desire, a special committee presented a 
formal petition to the Park Commissioners, asking that 
Reservoir Square be set apart for the Museum. The ac- 
cessibility of that location, its proximity to railway stations 
and the business and theatre sections, would doubtless have 
greatly increased the annual attendance, for the Museum 
would thus have gone to the people; but on the other hand, 
the space available for future expansion would have been 
limited. Whatever reasons may have influenced the Park 
Commissioners, they determined on the site now occupied, 
that part of the Central Park known as the Deer Park, 
between Seventy-ninth Street and Eighty-fourth Street, 
from Fifth Avenue to the Drive. 1 

Immediately after April i, 1872, when this selection was 
ratified by the Trustees, the committee of architects of the 
Museum began definitely to work at their task, conferring 

1 The wording of the resolution of the Park Commissioners is as follows: 
" Resolved: That this Department approves of designating a site for the 
building for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on that part of Central 
Park between 7Qth and 84th streets and the Fifth Avenue and the Drive, 
and of designating a site for the building of the American Museum of 
Natural History on that part of the Central Park west of the Eighth Av- 
enue, and that the President inform these bodies of the action of the 



with the newly appointed architect of the Park, Calvert 
Vaux. Three years earlier Mr. Vaux with J. W. Mould 
had prepared a comprehensive plan for an art museum, when, 
as stated elsewhere, Andrew H. Green had conceived 
the idea of an art museum erected and equipped by the Park 
Commission, and had secured an enabling act for that pur- 
pose. Mr. Vaux was distinguished as a landscape architect. 
With Frederick L. Olmsted, he presented the successful 
design for the laying out of Central Park, and either singly 
or with some associate he planned Prospect Park, Brooklyn, 
Riverside, and Morningside Parks. 

Not until 1874 was the ground for the building in the park 
actually broken, and even before that date the Museum had 
outgrown its first quarters. As the purchase of the collection 
of Dutch and Flemish paintings had occasioned the lease of 
the Dodworth Building, so the purchase of another Valuable 

Election, the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities, 

^cessitated removing to a larger building. 
General Louis Palma di Cesnola, the discoverer of the 
'priote antiquities, later for a quarter of a century the 

-'"'tor of the Museum, was by birth an Italian nobleman, 

later choice an American citizen. Graduated from the 

/oyal Military Academy of Turin, he had served with dis- 

r.ction in the Italian Revolution, the Crimean War, and our 

.ivil War. In 1865 he was appointed Consul of the United 

tates at Cyprus. Impressed by the thought that Cyprus 
w\s the meeting point of the ancient races, and so the Greek' 
-.elements there in the heroic period must have derived the 

.d Eastern civilization from Phoenicia and Egypt, he began 
xcavations which, carried on from 1865 to 1871, richly re- 

/arded his labors. 

The purchase of this collection was another example of 
the independent action of one generous man securing for 
America a prize that Europe would gladly have kept. 



John Taylor Johnston, through Junius S. Morgan in London, 
offered $50,000 for the Cesnola Collection, hoping the Mu- 
seum might conclude to assume the purchase. 

Fortunately much of the correspondence between General 
Cesnola and Mr. Johnston has been preserved. The earliest 
letter from General Cesnola was written when by chance an 
article in Putnam's Magazine 1 about the Museum had fallen 
into his hands in Cyprus. It offers his collection on most 
advantageous terms. The following extract contains Gen- 
eral Cesnola's own account of his treasures : "I have the most 
valuable and richest private collection of antiquities existing 
in the world, which is the result of six years' labor, in this 
famous island, and of a great outlay of money. Every object 
was found by me, and they are in all more than ten thousand. 

'This collection I want to sell as a whole, if possible. 
. . . I offer it, therefore, to you as President of the N. Y. 
Museum for sale. As to its price, arbitrators will be named 
by both of us, and what they say of its worth, I will before- 
hand agree to accept. In regard to its payment, if it could 
not be effected at once, easy terms would be conceded by 
me. . . . 

" In six years I opened eight thousand ancient Phoenician, 
Greek, Assyrian, and Egyptian tombs, from which I extracted 
and brought to light vases of a hundred different shapes, 
from three feet high to only a few inches; - mortuary lamps 
with Greek inscriptions, bas-reliefs, etc. - - Bronzes of every 
description: strigils, specula, fibulas, spear-heads, . . . 
etc. etc. --Glass ware of such iridescence that it forms the 
great attraction of all visitors, more than one thousand 
objects, such as tear bottles, ointment cups or unguentarias, 
plates, bottles, etc. etc., bracelets, rings, beads. The most 
important of my collection are the statues of the famous 
Temple of Venus, the discovery of which Mr. Birch (of the 

1 Putnam's Magazine, July, 1870. 



British Museum) considers the most important of this 
century, with the exception of Mr. Layard's discovery of 

The next letter, sent from Cyprus, March 27, 1872, shows 
more clearly General Cesnola's deep desire that his collection 
should be kept together, even though with pecuniary sacri- 
fice to himself, and that it should be exhibited in America. 
After stating that $24,000 in gold would not cover all his 
expenses, he writes: "Mr. Hitchcock is authorized, if a 
public museum or other scientific institution of New York 
will purchase my collection, to grant any time for the pay- 
ment of its amount, either in instalments or as he deems best, 
provided, of course, the money is sure. I do not doubt that 
you will feel a great interest in seeing that a collection so 
large, so ancient and unique, and so valuable in point of 
history, as mine is, which has cost so much labor, time, and 
money, is secured for America and not scattered. I did not 
undertake archaeological diggings for a commercial purpose, 
and though my collection represents today my whole fortune 
'in toto/ yet 1 am disposed to be very reasonable when a 
public Institution would like to purchase it. What I desire 
above all is that my collection should remain all together and 
be known as the Cesnola Collection." As he in another 
letter expressed himself, " I have the pride of my race, and 
that of a Discoverer who wants his name perpetuated with 
his work if possible." 

General Cesnola's patriotic spirit is evidenced by his 
refusing an offer of 10,000 made by the British Museum 
for all the sculptures and inscriptions of Golgos, the most 
important features of his discovery, if he would consent 
to break up the collection. Instead, he sold the entire 
collection to Mr. Johnston for $60,000, though experts in 
England assured him it might bring $200,000 if sold abroad 
at auction. 



Some members of the Museum were in London at the 
time, for example, Robert Gordon and Cyrus W. Field. 
Having an opportunity to realize what the British Museum 
authorities and such a well-known Englishman as the 
humanist and statesman, Gladstone, thought of General 
Cesnola's treasures, 1 they almost immediately offered liberal 
sums towards raising the amount Mr. Johnston had paid Gen- 
eral Cesnola. It was, however, not until May, 1874, months 
after the collection had been publicly exhibited in New York, 
that the Trustees were able to report that a sufficient sum 
had been subscribed and the collection had actually become 
the property of the Museum. Meantime, General Cesnola 
had been employed to unpack, arrange, and classify the col- 
lection, thus beginning that long term of service for the 
Museum in one capacity or another which ended only with 
his death. 

The collections were removed from the Dodworth Building 
in the spring of 1873. It was, indeed, but a short period, 
fifteen months approximately, that the Museum occupied 
its first home at 68 1 Fifth Avenue, but during that time it 
had acquired a standing among institutions of art, chiefly 
because the Cesnola Collection, then believed to contain 
the most ancient examples of art in the world, had been 
deposited in the most youthful museum in the world. 

1 Sidney Colvin, the art critic and Cambridge professor, wrote of his 
regret that the collection was destined for America, "I can hardly tell you 
how disappointed and how sorry I am." 

I 5 6 







THE second home of the Museum, which was to 
contain the collections until the permanent building 
in the Park should be ready for occupancy, was 
the house known as the Douglas Mansion, 128 West Four- 
teenth Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, belonging 
to the late Mrs. Douglas Cruger. The advantages of this 
house are enumerated in the Annual Report, May, 1873, 
as follows: "This is a large building, measuring seventv- 
five feet front by eighty-five feet deep, and capable, with 
a few alterations, of displaying to advantage not only their 
present collection, but also the antiquities from Cyprus 
and such other objects as they may desire to obtain for a 
loan-exhibition. It is near enough to important thorough- 
fares to be easily accessible, and is surrounded by spacious 
grounds, with a frontage of 225 feet on Fourteenth Street, 
upon which grounds new galleries may be built, should 
they be required, before the final settlement in Central 
Park. The main house is substantial and elegant in its 
external appearance; and the halls, apartments, and stair- 
cases are large and amply lighted. There is a well-built 
coach-house near the house, which can easily be converted 
into a picture-gallery of about the same dimensions with 
the old one. The mansion itself contains a gallery lighted 
from the roof; and the whole establishment will afford, if 



necessary, five times as much wall-space as is supplied by 
the present building in Fifth Avenue." This was leased 
April 25, 1873, for five years at an annual rent of $8,000, 
though the lease of the Dodworth Building did not expire ' 
until May i, 1874. "The Douglas Mansion in West Four- 
teenth Street is still standing, not greatly altered in either its 
outward appearance or interior arrangement. . . . It is 
occupied by the Training School of the Salvation Army, 
whose National Headquarters, a nine-story fireproof build- 
ing, 75 feet wide, adjoins it on the East, built upon a part 
of the 'spacious grounds' referred to by the Trustees of the 
Museum in their Report." 1 

The expenses of the Museum were now heavy. Most 
of the $250,000 raised had been spent for the purchase of 
works of art. The appropriation of $500,000 for erecting 
the building in Central Park was of no immediate help, as 
a gallery must meantime be leased. The Trustees, arguing 
that the legislators by their former appropriation had put 
themselves on record as responsible for providing a place 
to exhibit the Museum collection, memorialized the Legis- 
lature for the sum of $30,000 to be supplied in 1873 by the 
tax levy for the rent and other necessary expenses of 
exhibiting collections which would be virtually free to the 
people, "as important and beneficial an agent in the instruc- 
tion of the people as any of the schools or colleges of the 
city," and "afford the most refining and at the same time 
innocent recreation for the public." The act, as passed 
by the Legislature, enabled the Park Department to apply 
annually a sum not exceeding $30,000 for the maintenance 
of both museums, thus securing for the needs of each Museum 
but $i 5,000. 

The financial situation necessitated what the officers 

1 William Loring Andrews. The Home of the Museum in Fourteenth 
Street, in Museum Bulletin, Vol. 2, page 4. 



considered a merely temporary expedient, contrary to their 
policy and to their wishes, the charging of an admission fee. 
At first the price of admission was fixed at 50 cents, but in 
three months this was reduced to 25 cents and Monday 
was made a free day. This seems to have continued the 


price during the remainder of the occupancy of the Douglas 
Mansion, but hours of opening and free and pay days were 
subjects that came up for frequent discussion. With May 
i, 1875, two days, Monday and Thursday, were made free 
days. The annual reports chronicle the satisfaction that 
the Trustees of the Museum felt in the way this opportunity 
was used. "The public," says the Report of 1875, "has 
signified its appreciation of the additional privileges by a 
constant, large, and ever crowded attendance on those days. 
The average daily attendance on free days has been 577." 



Less successful was the experiment of opening the Museum 
in the evening, to accommodate those engaged in business. 
For three months, from February to May in 1874, the 
Museum was open from 7 o'clock to 10 o'clock Tuesday, 
Thursday, and Saturday evenings, but the attendance was 
insufficient to meet the expenses. However, the renewed 
clamor to have the Museum collections available in the 
evening led to a second attempt which proved equally 
discouraging, though this time Monday and Saturday 
evenings were selected and the former was made a free 
evening. Even after the Museum had taken possession of 
its permanent building admission hours and fees were for 
years mooted questions. Fifty cents was originally charged 
in the Park, but as before for only a few months, since it was 
discovered that about two-thirds of the people who came 
on pay days went away again when they found the entrance 
fee so high. Monday and Tuesday were the first pay days 
in the Park. William C. Prime, in a letter to Gen. Cesnola 
in 1880, suggested making Monday a 250. day and Tuesday 
a loc. or even a <-,c. day. This experiment in bargain days 
was not carried out, but Tuesday was later made a free day 
and Friday a pay day. 

Another method of increasing the funds immediately 
available for Museum expenses was by forming a new 
class of membership, annual members, who by the payment 
of $10 each year should be entitled to a ticket admitting 
two persons whenever the Museum was open and invitations 
to all receptions given by the Officers of the Museum. 
In response to this appeal to men whose sympathy was with 
the Museum, but whose means would not permit their 
becoming Fellows or Patrons, about 600 annual members 
were enrolled. 

The Museum was now free to adopt the policy the Trus- 
tees had long advocated, that of holding loan exhibitions. 



They had sufficient room and were to occupy one building 
long enough to make loan exhibitions thoroughly practicable. 
The first catalogue of a loan exhibition of paintings, issued 


in September, 1873, contains 112 entries. The paintings 
filled two galleries, Gallery H of Modern Paintings, markedly 
of the European schools, with only a scattering representa- 
tion of American artists, and Gallery G of Old Masters. 
Among the first we note Turner's Slave Ship, now in the 



Boston Museum of Fine Arts, lent by John Taylor John- 
ston, and Head of a Young Man, by James McNeill Whistler, 
lent by Samuel P. Avery; among the second, paintings 
attributed to Titian, Tintoretto, Ghirlandajo, Andrea del 
Sarto, and Leonardo da Vinci. The lenders, 32 in number, 
include such well-known collectors as John Taylor Johnston, 
Morris K. Jesup, J. H. Van Alen, Robert Hoe, Robert L. 
Stuart, Robert L. Kennedy, William T. Blodgett, H. G. Mar- 
quand, and R. M. Olyphant; such artists as Frederic E. 
Church and John La Farge; and one daughter of an artist, 
Miss Morse, who lent some of her father's works, as well as 
paintings by European artists. 

Another of these early loan exhibits recalls the days of 
the New York Gallery of Fine Arts, for it was a collection 
wholly American in character, a memorial exhibition of 38 
paintings by John F. Kensett, his last summer's work, and 
the three paintings, The Cross and the World, by Thomas 
Cole. The Kensetts, given to the Museum by Thomas 
Kensett, afforded an opportunity to appreciate the ability 
and astonishing industry of the artist, who had been a 
valued associate in the Museum counsels until his death in 
December, 1872. 

Subsequent loan exhibitions in the Fourteenth Street 
building included statuary as well as paintings; engravings, 
etchings, and mezzotints, belonging to James L. Claghorn of 
Philadelphia; arms and armor and other objects, lent by 
H. Cogniat; pottery and porcelain, the property of Samuel 
P. Avery and William C. Prime; laces and embroideries, 1 
lent by Andrew MacCallum and the Castellani Collections 
of antiquities and majolica. The last two were deposited 
in the Museum for public exhibition in the hope that suffi- 

1 These consisted of "a number of early sixteenth century Italian embroid- 
eries drawnwork, cutwork, colored drawnworks in silks, in part from the 
Grecian Islands under the dominion of Venice, and fragments of the transi- 
tional punto in aria." 

1 66 


cient interest might be awakened in them to effect their 
purchase by private subscription. In the first case, this 
hope was fulfilled, and the laces, purchased in 1879, largely 
through the generous contribution of one friend, became 
the nucleus of the present collection, one of the largest in 
existence; in the second case, the purchase was not con- 
summated, owing partly to the financial depression of 1877, 
and partly to the feeling that the price asked was excessive. 
The Castellani Collections had been exhibited at the Cen- 
tennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, where many lovers of 
art seeing them had longed to keep such valuable works 
of art permanently in America. The owner, Signor Alessan- 
dro Castellani, agreed to place them in the Museum for 
the first six months of 1877, with the privilege of extending 
the time till the end of the year if the Trustees so wished, 
on the understanding that the Trustees should make an effort 
to procure funds for their purchase. The proceeds of the 
exhibit and the sale of catalogues were to be divided equally 
between Signor Castellani and the Museum. If, however, 
either collection was finally purchased, whatever had already 
been given to Signor Castellani should be deducted from 
the purchase price. After exhibiting the collections nearly 
a year the Trustees reluctantly abandoned all hope of owner- 
ship and shipped them back to Europe. 

Besides these different collections, individual works of 
art of many sorts were lent for shorter or longer periods. 
A general guide to the rooms, issued probably in 1875, gives 
us some conception of the varied character of the exhibits, 
both those lent and those owned by the Museum. For 
this reason it seems worth copying in part. 


Entrance Hall 

Antique and Modern Statues and Busts. 



East Side of Entrance Hall 

Room A (front), fCesnola Collection ; Pottery, Bronze 

Articles, etc. 

B (center), fCesnola Collection; Pottery. 
C (back), 

fCases of Greek Vases. 

West Side of Entrance Hall 

Room L (back), Loan Collection; Wood Carvings, Old 

Printed Books, etc. 
M (center), f Reproductions of Works of Art in the 

South Kensington Museum, London. 
fCopper Plates Engraved for Audu- 
bon's " Birds of America." 
Loan Collection Electrotype of the Mil- 
ton Shield (original in the South Ken- 
sington Museum); Wood Carvings, etc. 
N (front), Loan Collection; Pottery and Porcelain, 
from the Trumbull-Prime Collection; 
Sevres, Dresden, and other Porcelain. 
fAncient Peruvian Pottery; Paintings, 
the "Nine Muses." 

Gallery of Sculpture (South of Entrance Hall) 
fCesnola Collection; Statues, Statuettes, etc. 
fSarcophagus (Roman) from Tarsus. 
Loan Collection; Sarcophagus from Golgos, Cyprus. 

Room leading from Gallery of Sculpture to Picture Gallery 
tCesnola Collection ; Sarcophagus, Statues, Bas Reliefs, 
Stelae with Inscriptions, etc. 
Loan Collection; Bas Reliefs from Cyprus. 
fPaintings by Old Masters. 

Picture Gallery 
tPaintings by Old Masters. 

A Series of 10 Etchings by Jacquemart, from some of the 
f Property of the Museum. 

1 68 


most Valuable of these Paintings, for sale at the Museum. 

Price, $25.) 

Loan Collection; Bronze Bust of William Cullen Bryant. 


East Side 

Room D (back), Loan Collection; Porcelain, Ivory Carv- 
ings, Enamels, Bronzes, Lacquers, 
Paintings, Papers, etc.; chiefly Japa- 
nese and Chinese. 
" E (center), fCesnola Collection; Objects in Stone, 

Terra Cotta, etc. 

F (front) fCesnola Collection ; Ancient Glass, 
Articles in Gold and Silver; Cypriote 
Inscriptions on Stone. 
f Property of the Museum. 



Room G (center, front), Loan Collection; Paintings by 

Old Masters. 

fPhotographs, etc.; (Revolving Stand). 
H (Picture Gallery), Loan Collection; Modern 

We st Side 

Room I (front), fKensett Paintings. 

Loan Collection; Carvings, Enamels, 
Miniatures, Antique Watches, Coins, 

J (center), Loan Collection; Arms, Armor, etc. 
K (back), Loan Collection; Oriental Porcelain 
from the Avery Collection; Ivory Carv- 
ings, Enamels, Lacquers, etc. 

The first year of loan exhibitions demonstrated two facts 
without question: first, that the number of valuable works 
of art, both ancient and modern, in private hands in New 
York and throughout the country was so great that the 
Museum, even in its larger quarters, could exhibit but a 
small part of them; and second, that the American collector, 
whether a member of the Museum or not, was most generous 
and public-spirited in lending his treasures. 

The year 1876, the centennial year of American inde- 
pendence, was noteworthy as well in the history of art, 
for then occurred the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, 
which produced an artistic quickening, a growing apprecia- 
tion of art over the entire country. With this exhibition 
the Trustees of our Museum were in heartiest accord; and 
when in the spring of 1876, a circular letter, signed by 
Parke Godwin, proposed a Centennial Summer Exhibition 
of New York's private collections of art, on the principle 
that New York ought to furnish to the many visitors of the 

f Property of the Museum. 



centennial year more than its ordinary sources of entertain- 
ment, the Museum was very ready to cooperate. In this 
exhibit the National Academy of Design united with the 
Museum; common committees were appointed; part of the 
pictures obtained - - 580 in number, from 58 contributors - 
were shown in the Museum and part in the Academy 
of Design; when the proceeds were divided the two organ- 
izations shared the profits, the Museum receiving 40%, 
the Academy 60%. During the 220 days approximately 
that the exhibition was open, from June 23rd to Novem- 
ber loth, the paying admissions amounted to 154,441; 
the catalogues sold, to 46,033; and the net proceeds to 
nearly $38,000. To both institutions the financial help 
was very timely. A perusal of the catalogues of the two 
exhibits discloses the names of the usual contributors to 
loan exhibitions. As each lender's group of paintings is 
kept separate, a good opportunity is afforded to see what 
in each case was thought worthy of a place in an exhibition 
that was to convey to people from all over the country some 
conception of the status of art in the homes of New York. 
In both exhibitions, in the National Academy of Design 
as in the Metropolitan Museum, only about one-fourth 
of the paintings were the work of American artists and the 
remaining three-fourths were by modern European artists, 
English, French, and German. 

Two years before, in 1874, the Cesnola Collection had 
been acquired by the Museum through the subscriptions of 
many public-spirited citizens. General Cesnola himself had 
arranged and classified the collection, and had returned to 
Cyprus for further excavations, so far as his consular duties 
would permit. His success was even greater than his most 
sanguine expectations. In 1874, he sent to the Museum 
a fine collection of gold ornaments and gems of Phoenician 
and early Greek workmanship, in this line the entire result 



of his excavations. For this collection Mr. Johnston, the 
President of the Museum, advanced the purchase price, which 
was later repaid to him. To General Cesnola in his continu- 
ance of the excavations, further reward came in the dis- 
covery of what was called the Curium Treasure, supposed 
to belong to a period at least 650 years before Christ, found 
forty feet beneath the present surface of the ground, under 
the Temple of Curium, evidently in the treasure vaults of 
the temple. 

As the Museum had been financially unable to make any 
agreement with General Cesnola, he was compelled to seek a 
purchaser abroad. The French government offered him 
300,000 francs or $60,000 in gold for the Curium Treasure 
and a selection of the other objects; the British Museum 
offered 10,000 or $50,000 in gold for the Curium Treasure 
only, and desired an answer to its offer within three days. 
General Cesnola offered to sell it to The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art for the same sum, agreeing to payment in 
instalments of $20,000 each. At a special meeting of the 
Trustees, a sudden determination was reached to appeal 
to the friends of the Museum for help in this crisis. The 
response to the appeal was instantaneous. Within a few- 
days $40,000 was pledged, and the entire collection was 
secured for New York. By a succession of cablegrams 
which passed within ten days between John Taylor John- 
ston and General Cesnola, the purchase was made. Upon 
the receipt of Mr. Johnston's last cablegram, "We accept 
entire collection," General Cesnola replied in words that 
show his strong personal interest in the Museum, "All right! 
three hearty cheers for our dear New York Museum." 
Certainly the generosity of General Cesnola is obvious 
throughout the transaction. 

During this part of the Museum's existence it was develop- 
ing the many-sided interests of an important institution of 



art. For example, it was entering into fraternal relationship 
with other museums. In 1874 tne Corcoran Gallery of Art 
in Washington gave a series of photographs of objects in 
that gallery to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and re- 
ceived in return a series of the etchings made by M. Jules 
Jacquemart, and photographs of the Museum collections. 
Annual reports were exchanged with various other institu- 
tions, as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Pennsyl- 
vania Academy of the Fine Arts. Finding tariff regulations 
a hindrance to the acquisition of works of art, the Trustees 
corresponded with other societies to secure by unanimous 
action, if possible, the admission of all articles over fifty 
years old free of duty. 1 

Again, the initial steps toward a photographic department 
were taken through the generous offer of Messrs. Prime 
and Hoe to furnish photographs of ob ects in the Museum 
at their own expense, on the agreement that all profits on 
the sale should be devoted by them to a fund for the purpose 
of increasing the stock of photographs. When they deemed 
the supply of negatives sufficient, the original cost was 
refunded to them, and the photographs sold for the benefit 
of the Museum. An agreement was also entered into with 
Messrs. Tiffany and Co., giving them the exclusive right to 
manufacture reproductions of works of art in the Museum. 

'Apparently no definite results followed immediately upon this- attempt 
to secure concerted action for the improvement of tariff regulations. 
However, works of art, regardless of their age, when imported by certain 
institutions, were admitted free of duty subject to certain conditions 
under the tariff act of 1883 and have been so admitted under the sub- 
sequent acts, including the present tariff law of 1909. The tariff enact- 
ment of 1883 provided for the free entry of collections of antiquities, 
while the act of 1890 limited the term antiquities to such articles as were 
suitable for souvenirs or cabinet collections, and which had been produced 
prior to the year 1700. This provision was continued in the act of 1894, 
but dropped from the tariff law of 1897. The tariff act of 1909 now in 
force divides works of art into two classes and admits without duty one 
class if over twenty years old and the other if over one hundred years old. 



In its educational influence, also, the Museum was accom- 
plishing gratifying results. The students of Cooper Union, 
the Art Students' League, and the Brooklyn Art Association, 
and other students of art were given free tickets of admission 
upon application. This side of Museum work has always 
been regarded as most important. The Annual Reports 
repeatedly call attention to its value. In the report sub- 
mitted in May, 1875, we read, "The Museum has had its 
effect for good. Several schools have introduced the history 
and principles of the fine arts into their courses of education. 
Teachers, accompanied by scholars, frequently visit the 
Museum to examine illustrations of the immediate subjects 
of their study, and large numbers of young persons, especially 
young ladies, are among the most frequent visitors and the 
most careful students of works of art." In the next report, 
the pleasure of the Trustees in this phase of the Museum's 
work is expressed as follows: 'The Trustees take especial 
satisfaction ... in observing the number of artisans 
who visit the Museum for gaining instruction in their 
respective arts. It is also proper to notice the evidence from 
outside the galleries that the Museum has already produced 
somewhat of its designed effect in directing the tastes of the 
community to a higher standard than was formerly indicated. 
This evidence is found in abundance. Styles of household 
and home decoration are materially changing in our city 
and in the country at large. . . . Our citizens are 
beginning to gather around them objects of artistic beauty 
for the adornment of the rooms in which they live, and in 
which their families grow up, and thus children are sur- 
rounded by the refining and elevating influences of art. . . 
Without falling into the error of claiming this manifest 
advance in American art-tastes as solely and wholly the 
result of our work, the Members of The Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art have reason to be satisfied that they have been 



largely influential in producing it." Through its guide books 

and catalogues, also, of which a number had been issued by 

this time, the Museum was exerting an educational influence. 

During this period, as well as the preceding, the duties 

f' nrniRTMCXT or IMIIU:-; 'R!CS f >' 

- - 

I - 

R e 

6 r 

- . f" -a ' 

_- H 

..CM UAL i.KOuKI) )'L,V,V 


of the Trustees were twofold: those involved in the actual 
daily conduct of the Museum and those relating to its future 
welfare; that is, in planning for the erection of the per- 
manent building in the Park. This portion of their work,, 
necessarily done quietly, did not come to public notice,, 
but it took much time and required knowledge, tact, and 
decision. Calvert Vaux, then employed by the Park Com- 



mission, was working on the plans and specifications. The 
understanding was that Mr. Vaux should be in frequent 
consultation with the Executive Committee of the Museum 
and should work in conformity with its wishes. His first 
plans seemed to the Museum officials far too "magnificent 
and elaborate," and others which were simpler and less 
expensive were submitted and accepted. The special com- 
mittee of architects appointed by the Museum to superintend 
the building reported suggested changes on the first plans 
as follows: 'Your Committee have always believed, and 
in published reports have stated that any plan for the 
Museum should include a Court of moderate size, which 
should admit of being roofed with glass; that this Court 
should be not less than 100 feet square and will be well 
adapted to its purpose if of that size, that the buildings 
surrounding it should be about 30 feet wide on an average 
and should have a ground story, the floor of which should 
be on a level with the floor of the Court, thus making a con- 
tinuous floor ground or first story 160 or 170 feet square; 
that this story would afford excellent and altogether satis- 
factory light, space, and accommodation for Works of Art 
of all classes other than pictures; that pictures are provided 
for by the rooms of the second story of the building sur- 
rounding the Court, in which rooms or galleries about 1,000 
running feet of wall would be provided, all perfectly lighted 
from above. Now it is obviously of great importance that 
the building to be erected at once, with the half million 
already appropriated, should be made to include something 
of each part of the building: -- some picture gallery, some 
glass-roofed court, and some of the cloister or side-lighted 
gallery surrounding the court." This report was signed by 
Russell Sturgis, Richard Morris Hunt, and James Renwick. 

The contention of the Trustees - - a wise stand, we think - 
was that the estimate for the building should not exceed 




:: : 1 


JL , JL 

.. TTT-TTTT-T-TTT1 - li: 





$400,000, leaving $100,000 for the contingencies that must 
always be reckoned on, and for fitting up and equipping 
the building for its special use. The Trustees cared far 
less for exterior ornateness than for interior effectiveness. 
When Mr. Vaux had changed his plans, the shell of the 
building was constructed. Even then, the Trustees were 
compelled to ask for important changes in the interior. 
Their criticism was not against the building as such, but 
against its adaptability for the exhibition of their collections. 
Fortunately, both Mr. Vaux and the Park Commissioners 
were most cordial in their desire to conform to the wishes 
of the Trustees. But Museum building was a new form 
of architectural work in America. Thus it was but natural 
that differences of opinion should occur, even with the 
heartiest good will on the part of each person. 

The cost of the Central Park building was kept within 
the half million dollars appropriated, with a slight margin 
for alterations and additions, but no money remained to 
pay for moving the collections and fitting up the new 
building. Accordingly, the Museum must again have 
recourse to the Legislature. To them application was made 
to authorize the Board of Estimate and Apportionment 
to include in the tax levy in 1879 and 1880 sufficient amounts 
for these purposes By the law passed June 3, 1878, $30,000 
was to be appropriated during two years. 

Another task for the legal minds among the Trustees was 
securing from the Park Commissioners a suitable lease of 
the building the Museum was so soon to occupy. The 
original draft of this lease was made by Joseph H. Choate 
for submission to the City authorities. It was duly 
executed and recorded on December 24, 1878. By this 
agreement 1 the City of New York was to be regarded 

1 For the wording of the lease, see Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, 
Lease, Laws, N. Y., 1910, page 31. 

1 7 8 


as the sole owner of the building, which it agreed to keep in 
repair except if damaged by fire; the Museum was to have the 
exclusive use of the building and full and exclusive property 
rights to all collections in the building. The Museum agreed 




on its part to keep the building open from ten o'clock A. M. 
until half an hour before sunset, on four days in the week, 
and on all legal or public holidays except Sundays, free 
of charge, and on the remaining days on such terms of 
admission as they saw fit, provided that professors and 
teachers of the public schools of the city or other free 
institutions of learning in the city should be admitted to 



every privilege of the Museum granted to any other persons. 
By this lease the partnership between the city authorities 
and the Museum Trustees was fully established. The 
Museum was henceforth to be a free public institution. The 
contract was unique in its character and has secured constant 
harmony and cooperation between the Trustees and the City, 
and the fact that it has undergone no substantial change in 
the thirty-four years that have since elapsed is significant 
proof of its value. 

The Trustees were now ready to take active measures 
for closing the Fourteenth Street gallery, removing the 
collections to the Museum's own building, and there instal- 
ling them. February 14, 1879, was made the date of the 
final reception at the Douglas Mansion and the exhibition 
there was declared closed. According to a newspaper, 
there was "a great crowd" and 'a stalwart crush" that 
evening. The task of safely and systematically transferring 
the collections from their old quarters to their new home 
was one of considerable magnitude. Upon General Cesnola, 
who had been appointed Secretary in 1 877, 1 devolved much 
of the planning and a large share of the performance. His 
hours were not confined to any stipulated number, but he 
was at work early and late. In his memorandum of work 
to be executed in the new building before the removal of 

1 For several years two men, the Assistant Superintendent, H. Gordon 
Hutchins, and the Assistant Secretary, Thomas Bland, had faithfully 
conducted the affairs of the Museum as the only paid members of the staff. 
Mr. Hutchins was employed first as a caretaker and janitor when the Fifth 
Avenue building was leased, but proved himself so capable that he was 
made Assistant Superintendent with an increase of salary and continued to 
hold that office until the appointment of General Cesnola. Some idea 
of Mr. Hutchins' various duties may be gained from a letter written by 
Russell Sturgis, which reads, "He has often been employed thirteen or 
fourteen hours a day, for several days together, in very varied occupations: 
answering the questions of visitors, writing, classifying, attaching numbers 
and labels, and (during the evening and early morning) arranging objects 
in cases or hanging pictures." 



the collections from Fourteenth Street, we find for the 
Secretary's room, among other furnishings, "curtains to 
the three windows, gas fixtures," and " to render opaque the 
lower part of the glass windows to keep curious people from 
looking inside the room when I am at work." Thus he was 
preparing for the long hours upon which he was soon cheer- 
fully and eagerly to enter. Recognition of the faithful and 


gratuitous services of General Cesnola as Secretary came in 
1879 when he was appointed to the position of Director, or 
Manager of the Museum, thus receiving a salary. The 
Museum now needed a more centralized organization with 
one man directly in touch with its varied interests. Fortu- 
nate indeed were the Trustees to obtain a man whose heart 
was in his work. 

The Trustees also labored long and hard. The buoyancy 
of their enthusiasm carried them happily through much work 
that otherwise might have been termed drudgery. One 



newspaper writer of the day, recognizing the debt the com- 
munity owed to a comparatively few men, called the atten- 
tion of others to their manifold labors as follows: 

" Looking over the last annual report of the trustees to 
the members it appears that the entire number of con- 
tributors to the fund, in sums large and small, is only about 
four hundred; that the contributions have amounted to 
$325,000, and that the trustees have among themselves given 
about one-fourth of the whole amount. This is the money 
account, but the amount of time and attention expended 
by the trustees can scarcely be summed up. It appears 
that up to the spring of 1879, when they moved to the Park, 
the entire labor and supervision had been done by trustees 
in person, and that this required a large amount of daily 
work and probably night work as well cannot be doubted. 
When it is remembered that these gentlemen are well-known 
business men, each having his own responsibilities and 
that they have done not only advisory work but have under- 
taken the personal labor of going around to borrow objects 
of art for the loan exhibitions, hanging pictures and handling 
porcelains, glass, etc., paying workmen and doing all the odd 
jobs, as well as the art work of a growing museum, it may 
be seen that they are working trustees. The removal of 
the vast collection of Cypriote potteries, statuary, glass, 
bronzes, and other objects and paintings and marble statues 
from the Fourteenth Street Museum to the Park was not 
only superintended during six weeks by trustees but every 
separate fragile object was packed at one place and unpacked 
at the other by the gentlemen themselves, and the result 
repaid them, for not a vase or cup was broken. It might 
well be thought that they expect some reward; but the fact 
is that they have had no other end in view than the satis- 
faction of accomplishing a great thing for the working-men, 
artisans, artists, and art lovers in New York. This reward 



is theirs. The Museum of Art, considering that it is a result 
of only nine years' work, is almost a miracle in this age 
of work for pay." 1 

The facts bear out the statements of this newspaper writer 
in every particular. For instance, General Cesnola himself 
packed many of the objects at the Fourteenth Street Build- 
ing and William C. Prime and William Loring Andrews un- 
packed them personally at the Museum's own building in 
the Park. An employee of the Park Department, who had 
been delegated to act as watchman at the new building, 
after watching these two Trustees for an hour as they lifted 
object after object from the moving van and safely deposited 
them in the large hall, took off his coat and helped. 

It may not be amiss to quote what Honorable Joseph H. 
Choate, one of the Trustees, who gave the address at the 
opening of the Museum, said on this same point: " 1 will 
not call a blush to the cheeks of my associates, who sit 
around me by telling how they labored and suffered during 
these ten tedious years to bring to pass the little that this hour 
has realized. But some of them have poured out their money 
like water, and each in his degree has given unstinted time 
and study to the advancement of their cherished purpose. 

"Of course, such efforts in a field before untried have 
not been made without some mistakes. . . . But, if 
we have committed errors, it has been at our own expense; 
if time and labor have been wasted, they have been only our 
own; if money has been misspent, it was our own money 
and that of a few generous friends, who zealously shared our 
errors; and here to-day we bring before you the net result 
of all our labors, all our aspirations, and all our mistakes." 

As we read the correspondence and the minutes of the 
meetings held in those years, we are deeply impressed by 
the conviction that we, as an institution, possessed something 
1 N. Y. Evening Post, March 19, 1880. 

l8 3 


in the initial enthusiasm and joyous service of the founders, 
those dauntless men who worked for the Museum as if it 
were the personal possession of each man and its success 
depended upon him, that the esprit de corps of no staff of 
men trained in museum work, however faithful and capable, 
can ever equal. 









^HE opening of The Metropolitan Museum building, 
which marked the end of a nomadic existence lasting 
ten years, occurred March 30, 1880. "Can you 
believe it?' cried one dignified trustee to another, slapping 
the other heartily on the back. 'Can you realize that the 
thing really exists?" This incident, quoted by a New York 
newspaper 1 as occurring at the opening, may well have been 
true and perhaps duplicated many times, in spirit, at least. 
It certainly expresses in a popular fashion the glow of 
satisfaction that must have come to the Trustees at reaching 
this epoch in the Museum's career. The Museum was, 
indeed, not a ripened, perfected organism, as the editor of 
the Evening Post intended to say when the types twisted his 
phrase into "not a refined, perfected organism," a statement 
for which the editor duly apologized on the following day. 2 
Even the building was not finished; it was but a section of 
the structure as planned, and so was not imposing or prepos- 
sessing in external appearance. But what had already been 
accomplished was so well done as to give abundant promise 
for the future. 

As members of the press were invited to the Museum for a 
private view on March 2gth, the newspapers of March 3oth 

N. Y. World, March 30, 1880. 

S N. Y. Evening Post, March 30, 1880. 



gave copious expression to a feeling of surprise and pleasure 
over what had now been attained. The hanging of the 
pictures especially received much favorable comment, yet 
it is interesting to note in passing that the trustees, notwith- 
standing the emphasis they placed on the educational side of 
Museum work, apparently made no attempt to arrange the 
pictures according to schools. One newspaper found in 
the hanging and the collections " brains, beauty, and bal- 
ance. " l "The Hanging Committee," said the article, "has 
done the most remarkable and admirable work ever seen 
in this country at a public exhibition of paintings. 
The features of this work are conspicuously two: the 
system of bold or delicate and suggestive balancings, and 
the commingling of Americans and foreigners without respect 
to persons. You walk through the two large western gal- 
leries and you feel that American art is not so bad after all, 
because you see that it stands up like a man by the side of 

its fellows and neither blushes nor faints The 

eye is really not shocked to find a Gerome balancing an 
Eastman Johnson, a Troyon balancing a William Magrath, 

a Bouguereau balancing a Henry A. Loop The 

most striking of all these balancings, however, is that of the 
Bouguereau --an upright of a young woman holding her 
brother in her arms --with Mr. Henry A. Loop's Aenone, 
in which, it seems to us, the Hanging Committee have done 
this American artist the nicest turn imaginable and at the 
same time practicable. For the first time in his life Mr. 
Loop has the honor of being taken by the hand by a commit- 
tee of his fellow-painters, led to the side of the ever-popular 
Bouguereau, and spoken of in public in this wise: 'Ladies 
and gentlemen, you see before you two estimable men, 
whose aesthetic aspirations are homologous if not oleaginous. 
One of them has swung around the world amid the jingling of 

'N. Y. Evening Post, March 29, 1880. 




applause and shekels; the other --is an American. See 
for yourselves now how like brothers they are; how each one 
of them, as it were, bears the same strawberry mark. If, 
then, you buy Bouguereau, why not order a sample of the 
other also?' 

In addition to the pictures owned by the Museum there 
was exhibited a representative collection of fifty-five of the 
works of the late William M. Hunt, borrowed from all parts 
of the country, many of them previously shown in the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts. Among these were the study for his 
Flight of Night, as made for the Capitol in Albany, which has 
recently been purchased by the Museum, and the Girl at a 
Fountain, bequeathed to the Museum in 1908 by Miss Jane 
Hunt. There had been gathered also a loan collection of 
over two hundred and fifty pictures, lent by nearly a hun- 
dred people. "At a time," says the Evening Post, "when 
the very term 'loan collection' is a bee in picture-owners' 
bonnets, it [the Museum] has succeeded in stirring deeply 
the generosity of that troubled class of mortals, and has 
organized an exhibition extraordinary for beauty, for cost- 
liness, and for excellence." 1 William H. Vanderbilt, then in 
Europe, telegraphed to the trustees that they might help 
themselves to any ten pictures in his house, and as Samuel 
P. Avery is quoted to have said, " You may be sure we took 
the best he had." The ten chosen were Jacque's Shepherd 
and Flock, Dupre's Landscape, Diaz' Forest of Fontainebleau, 
Lefebvre's La Sposa di Torrente, Villegas' The Rare Vase, 
Erskine Nicol's Looking for a Safe Investment, Madou's 
Flemish Cabaret, Corot's Dance of the Nymphs, Meyer von 
Bremen's What Has Mother Brought?, and Van Marcke's 
Cattle. Since 1886 most of these and many other paintings 
have been exhibited in Gallery 16 as a loan from George 

1 N. Y. Evening Post, March 29, 1880. 
2 N. Y. World, March 30, 1880. 




U. ^ 



< ai 

e. < 

-U iX 

2 s 

I J 

5 ~ 

-J Z 

m s 

H S 

CD u, 





W. Vanderbilt. Approximately three-eighths of the paintings 
lent were by American artists; the remaining five-eighths, by 
representatives of various European schools of painting. 

To get a glimpse of the Museum as it looked when ready for 
the opening, turn to another newspaper clipping. "Near 
the eastern end of the main hall, under that immense roof 
which from the outside is so suggestive of a hothouse, is 
seen first of all a modest platform, on which are modest little 
camp-chairs for the distinguished guests of to-morrow, and a 
modest little box-desk for those of them that are to speak. 
Sit on one of these chairs, and at your right and left appear 
long rows of glass cases containing loaned curiosities in 
porcelains, manuscripts, missals, gold ornaments, repousse 
and chased work, carvings, bronzes, Limoges enamels, and 
what not. Behind them are larger glass cases with their 
Cypriote antiquities - - the pottery of ancient Cyprus, the 
statuary of ancient Cyprus. The specimens have room 
enough now, and they look comfortable. From the long 
southern and northern galleries depend tapestries old and 
resplendent; while in one of the galleries is the Avery Col- 
lection of porcelains and in the other the Cypriote glass and 
gold, the most iridescent pieces of glass being hung where 
their effect is undisturbed. Chinese ivory carvings, Venetian 
glass, and Eastern lacquer ware and curios arrange them- 
selves in cases by themselves. You can take any standard 
work on Cyprus, Greece, Italy, or Japan, and pick out your 
own illustrations for it in the Metropolitan Museum." 1 

The plans for the opening day included a reception and 
luncheon given at one o'clock by John Taylor Johnston 
at his home, 8 Fifth Avenue, and the ceremony of opening at 
3.30 P. M. at the Museum. For the latter 3,500 invitations 
had been issued, and many more requests had been received. 
Long before the hour for opening, a throng stood shivering in 

*N. Y. Evening Post, March 29, 1880. 













] . . . 1 




the chill .March wind, waiting for the doors to swing back. 
The exercises consisted of prayer by Henry C. Potter, 
D. D., then Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, later Bishop 
of New York; the delivery of the Building to the Trustees, 
by the President of the Public Parks, James F. Wenman; 
the acceptance of the Building on behalf of the Trustees, 
by John Taylor Johnston: an address on The History 
and Future Plans of the Museum, by Joseph H. Choate; 
and the declaration that The Metropolitan Museum of 
Art was open, by the President of the United States, 
Rutherford B. Hayes. 'The formal proceedings through- 
out," said The Evening Post, " were notable for the absence 
of all the vainglory and boasting which are sometimes 
thought to be inseparable from Yankee oratory, the modest, 
simple, and yet sufficient words in which President Hayes 
declared the institution to be open for the purposes of 'free, 
popular art education' being in entire accord with all the 
preceding exercises." 1 

Mr. Choate's address is worthy of a careful reading. Its 
dominant note is the practical value of a museum of art to all 
the people, its truly public character. The following para- 
graphs state most clearly this position of a representative 

"The erection of this building, at the expense of the public 
treasury for the uses of an art-museum, was an act of signal 
forethought and wisdom on the part of the Legislature. A 
few reluctant taxpayers have grumbled at it as beyond the 
legitimate objects of government, and if art were still, as it 
once was, the mere plaything of courts and palaces, minis- 
tering to the pride and the luxury of the rich and the volup- 
tuous, there might be some force in the objection. But, 
now that art belongs to the people, and has become their best 
resource and most efficient educator, if it be within the real 

*N. Y. Evening Post, March 30, 1880. 


z o 

z < 

- Q 

O W 

Z I 

CQ o 

H H 

01 < 

ai & 







objects of government to promote the general welfare, to 
make education practical, to foster commerce, to instruct and 
encourage the trades, and to enable the industries of our 
people to keep pace with, instead of falling hopelessly behind, 
those of other States and other Nations, then no expenditure 
could be more wise, more profitable, more truly republican. 
It is this same old-fashioned and exploded idea, which regards 
all that relates to art as the idle pastime of the favored few, 
and not, as it really is, as the vital and practical interest of 
the working millions, that has so long retarded its prbgress 
among us. 

"The founders of this Museum, stimulated by the wise 
examples set them abroad, and conscious at the same time 
that whatever was to be done for art among us must be be- 
gun, at least, by private means and personal enterprise, pro- 
jected the undertaking whose progress you have to-day been 
invited to witness. 

"They knew the difficulties that lay before them, and fully 
appreciated the burdens which they volunteered to assume. 
They looked for success only to the far-distant future, and 
certainly never expected in so short a time to accomplish the 
half of what has already been done. Let me briefly state to 
you their purposes. They believed that the diffusion of a 
knowledge of art in its higher forms of beauty would tend 
directly to humanize, to educate, and refine a practical and 
laborious people; that though the great masterpieces of 
painting and sculpture which have commanded the reverence 
and admiration of mankind, and satisfied the yearnings of the 
human mind for perfection in form and color, which have 
served for the delight and the refinement of educated men 
and women in all countries, and inspired and kept alive the 
genius of successive ages, could never be within their reach, 



yet it might be possible in the progress of time to gather a 
collection of works of merit, which should impart some knowl- 
edge of art and its history to a people who were yet to take 
almost their first lesson in that department of knowledge. 
Their plan was not to establish a mere cabinet of curiosities 
which should serve to kill time for the idle, but gradually to 
gather together a more or less complete collection of objects 
illustrative of the history of art in all its branches, from the 
earliest beginnings to the present time, which should serve 
not only for the instruction and entertainment of the people, 
but should also show to the students and artisans of every 
branch of industry, in the high and acknowledged standards 
of form and of color, what the past had accomplished for them 
to imitate and excel." 

With the collections safely placed and duly exhibited in 
their permanent home, the days of the Museum's migratory 
life were indeed well over, but by no means the difficulties and 
problems of a Museum. Financially their very success in 
accumulating possessions, the cost of exhibit and care being 
by no means trifling, and their very occupancy of a city 
building, good as each was in itself, brought almost insur- 
mountable obstacles. The Museum at 82d Street was too 
suburban in location to afford opportunity for the close 
personal supervision and labor that the Trustees had so 
willingly performed earlier. The expense of maintenance 
would therefore be increased even in a building no larger 
than the Fourteenth Street building, and the Central Park 
building was much larger. Besides, by the terms of the lease 
the Museum must admit visitors free on four days each week, 
whereas before there were only two free days. Thus one por- 
tion of their income would probably be greatly curtailed. 
Yet so excellent was the management, so careful the expendi- 
ture that from 1882 until 1889, when the first wing was 
opened, each year closed free of debt. 



Hon. Joseph H. Choate at the opening of the building 
alluded in a pleasing manner to this unpleasant subject: 
"These Trustees," said he, "are too proud to beg a dollar, 
but they freely proffer their services in relieving these dis- 
tended and apoplectic pockets. Think of it, ye millionaires 
of many markets, what glory may yet be yours if you only 
listen to our advice, to convert pork into porcelain, 
grain and produce into priceless pottery, the rude 
ores of commerce into sculptured marble, and railroad 
shares and mining stocks things which perish without 
the using, and which in the next financial panic shall 
surely shrivel like parched scrolls into the glorified canvases 
of the world's masters, that shall adorn these walls for 
centuries. The rage of Wall Street is to hunt the 
Philosopher's Stone, to convert all baser things into gold, 
which is but dross; but ours is the higher ambition to convert 
your useless gold into things of living beauty that shall be a 
joy to a whole people for a thousand years." 

The Trustees the year before, in 1879, had issued as a cir- 
cular a plea for financial help to the extent of $150,000, the 
subscription to be applied first to the following objects: 

" To purchase the Avery Collection of Porcelain, to buy 
the King Collection of Gems, to purchase Casts, to purchase 
Architectural Models, to purchase Archaeological Antiqui- 
ties, to purchase examples of Fabrics, and start a School of 
Design for the Arts and Trades, to establish a system of 
Prize-Medals or Awards, to create a fund for Lectures on 

This list gives some idea of the various activities upon 
which the Trustees longed to enter. They were in the tan- 
talizing position of seeing excellent opportunities to acquire 
treasures of art slip from their grasp through a constant 
need to economize. Looking ahead, however, we find that 
some, at least, of these desires were gratified. The Avery 



Collection of Porcelain was bought this same year, though 
the subscription was insufficient to pay the full price. 
Samuel P. Avery for his part gave most generous terms for 
its purchase. The Collection of Engraved Gems, made by 
Rev. C. W. King of Trinity College, Cambridge, England, 
together with Mr. King's descriptive catalogue, valuable 
because the work of a well-known authority on glyptic 
art, was acquired in 1881 through the gift of John Taylor 
Johnston. Richard Morris Hunt, who was especially inter- 
ested in th'e third object, the purchase of casts, at different 
times made generous contributions of architectural casts. 

Two items in this list focus our attention on a subject that 
the Trustees had for several years thought worthy of most 
serious consideration, that of exhibiting a collection of the 
objects belonging to industrial art and establishing industrial 
art schools. The large hall on the lower floor of the new 
building was set apart for carrying out their pet scheme, pro- 
curing and exhibiting "specimens illustrating the progress of 
manufactures and methods of manufacture from the raw 
material to the final art product." So determined were the 
Trustees upon this use of the space that at the opening of the 
building on March 30, 1880, they suspended in the hall a large 
placard with the inscription, "This room will be devoted to 
the collection of industrial art. " The task of filling this room 
was assigned to Professor Thomas Egleston, of the School of 
Mines, Columbia University, but it proved less easy in per- 
formance than on paper. It is illuminating to discover what 
he strove to obtain. Outlining his plan, Professor Egleston 

"The collection should be commenced by gathering to- 
gether the materials illustrating the use of the metals for 
interior and exterior art ornament and decoration. I should 
propose in each case to have the metal represented by its 
ores, and the intermediate processes of manufacture, but not 



to make these a prominent feature in the collection, only 
showing them as incidental to the finished subject which 
should be the center of attraction." Although many con- 
cerns were approached and several collections were promised, 
the sum total actually effected at this time was the acquisition 
of a series illustrating the art of electrotyping. In fact, in 
few cases has the Museum since that date acquired objects 
illustrating the processes of manufacture, although it now 
possesses in great richness the finished product of the 
artisan's skill and a special wing built for and devoted to the 
decorative arts. With the gradual process of differentiation 
between the objects belonging to an art museum and those 
appropriately placed in an industrial museum, the earlier 
ideal, expressed in this effort for an Industrial Art Collec- 
tion, has given place to the attempt to help artisans through 
a collection of finished works of art and details that show 
historical progression from early periods to the present. The 
aim - - to be helpful to artisans --is the same now as then; 
the difference lies in the method of accomplishing it. It 
would seem as if the right direction for effort in an art 
museum was discovered only by a series of experiments such 
as this. Thus the attempt, though unsuccessful, served a 
distinct purpose. 

The other educational aim, that of establishing Indus- 
trial Art Schools, was carried out and the schools con- 
ducted for over a decade. Gideon F. T. Reed, "a gen- 
tleman of large means, leisure, and experience," living 
in Swampscott, Massachusetts, who had studied the sub- 
ject for years, by his financial aid, and Edward Moore 
of Tiffany and Company by his time and experience 
made the initial steps possible. The Trustees had pledged 
themselves to the public in the Annual Report of 1879 to 
start such schools, and in the next report they were able to 
record that they had fulfilled their pledge by renting rooms 



on the third floor of a building, No. 31 Union Square, at the 
northwest corner of Broadway and i6th Street, and there 
establishing in January, 1880, free classes in woodwork and 
metalwork, each meeting twice weekly in the evening. 
When announcement of this new school was made by a circu- 
lar sent to a few employers and workmen, a gratifying num- 
ber of applicants presented themselves. During the first 
term the average number in attendance in each class was from 
twenty to twenty-three, ranging in age from sixteen to thirty 

With the next year great changes --of location, courses of 
study, and methods of administration -- came to the schools 
because of Richard T. Auchmuty's generous offer to erect 
on the east side of First Avenue between 6yth and 68th 
Streets the necessary buildings for a Technical School of plain 
and ornamental painting (house painting), to give the Mu- 
seum the use of them rent free for three years, and to pay 
whatever running expenses the receipts from tuition did not 
cover. There were classes in drawing and design, modeling 
and carving, carriage drafting, decoration in distemper, and 
plumbing. Mr. Auchmuty conditioned his offer on an agree- 
ment to charge as tuition enough to cover approximately 
the expenses of the schools, since he believed that people 
seldom value what they receive for nothing, and so regularity 
of attendance could not be secured with free tuition. This 
arrangement continued only one year, during which 143 
persons were enrolled in the different classes. The evening 
classes were eminently successful; the day classes, not so 

The schools were continued the following year in another 
location, on the upper floors of the building, Nos. 214 and 
216 East Thirty-fourth Street, a part of the expense being 
met by an endowment fund of $50,000, the gift of Gideon 
F. T. Reed. 



Though Mr. Reed was averse to dropping the earlier 
plan of free tuition, he yielded gracefully in a letter written 
to Robert Hoe, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Art 
Schools, which reveals the helpful, unassuming spirit of the 
man. From this letter we quote: " I have yours of yesterday 
concerning 'a free' school by The Metropolitan Museum.' 
I do think with yourself, that a small charge is always best 
(for all institutions of learning) to prevent waste and ensure 
care and proper appreciation; but can we not just as well 
leave it a free school and make the charge for materials or 
some such name and still have the school free? I think that 
would not be objected to by any one. I feel a little shy 
about making fees and charges, as that would deter just 
the young men whom I am most interested in : those who are 
smart and poor! 

" But I do not wish to draw any sharp lines for the Metro- 
politan Museum - 'tis only to make the future a sure thing, 
so far as all of us can, i.e., that this fund is to be expended 
wholly for instruction and as free from charges as is found 
wisest. Let us all try and encourage others in New York 
to lend a hand to these schools, by their practical manage- 
ment and certain results, which have worked such wonders 
for England during only thirty years past! (our boys are 
no more stupid than they are!) It only depends on us then 
to educate our boys to do things well.' 

Until 1887 the schools continued here, increasing yearly 
in number of pupils and practical efficiency. Elementary 
classes were added, while the advanced pupils often pro- 
cured remunerative positions as practical designers. A 
normal class was started for teachers of drawing in the 
public schools; the superintendents of schools in the vicinity 
of New York were sending their teachers to this class, and 
from Brooklyn, also, applications for tuition for the teachers 
were received. All these facts indicate the influence that 



these Museum schools must have had. The prospectus 
of 1887 gives the following statement of the general aim 
and scope of the schools, which by this time employed 
thirteen teachers, with John Ward Stimson as Director: 
'These Art Schools have been established . . . with the 
intention of furnishing superior opportunities (at moderate 
cost) for thorough instruction in Color; Design; Modeling; 

t--l<- - *' - -m"~- 

fc*f ''-5*r )' \ ' ; 


Free-hand, Architectural, Cabinet, and Mechanical Drawing; 
and such allied fields in Chased and Hammered Metals, 
Carved Work-tiles, Textiles, etc., as harmoniously combine 
creative art taste with practical industrial skill, having in 
view the welfare of that large class of Practical Artists or 
Artistic Artisans (who are distinguished from 'Amateurs' 
abroad by the term 'Artistes Ouvriers' or 'Artist-Artisans'), 
and who as industrious, self-supporting, and tasteful Workers 
in Art, contribute so essentially to its growth, and form the 
basis of the nation's artistic wealth." 



In connection with the Art Schools, lectures were fre- 
quently given. No regular course of public lectures was yet 
held, although at least one such lecture was delivered for 
which the Trustees arranged, with the expense borne by 
a special subscription. This was on the general subject 
of the explorations at the ruins of Assos, in the Troad, 
and was given February 16, 1883, in Chickering Hall, by 
Prof. Charles Eliot Norton, President of the Archaeological 
Institute of America. This form of public instruction was ev- 
idently still in the plan of the Trustees; they were but wait- 
ing for a favorable opportunity to carry out their intention. 

Turning from one educational factor in the Museum life 
to another, we may chronicle the modest beginnings of the 
Museum Library. Some books and pamphlets had accumu- 
lated at the Fourteenth Street Building. On their removal 
to the permanent structure in Central Park, the southwest 
room of the basement was set apart as a library and fitted 
up with "neat but durable book-cases" capable of containing 
from five to seven thousand volumes. The appointment of 
a librarian who should collect books and solicit donations; 
in short, boom this new undertaking, was the next task. 
Happily it was no difficult matter, for one of the Trustees, 
William Loring Andrews, the distinguished bibliophile and 
one of the founders of the Grolier Club, who was admirably 
fitted both by his own knowledge and love of books and 
by his deep interest in the Museum's success to fill such 
a position, accepted the responsibility, becoming first 
Librarian, and later Honorary Librarian, which position 
he has occupied ever since with great advantage to the 
Museum. Five hundred dollars, surely not an extravagant 
sum, was appropriated for the first year's support of the 

The first record of this new departure was given in the 
Annual Report to May i, 1881, as follows: "An Art 



Library for the use of visitors is an essential part of the work- 
ing plan of the Museum, which hitherto it has not been 
possible to enter on. The increase of the exhibitions and 
the necessity of books of reference for the use of the Director 
and his assistants in preparing catalogues, has led to a more 
systematic attempt to gather a library. This is now a 
pressing demand, and to supply the immediate want, the 
Trustees ask the contribution of Works on Art and kindred 
subjects. A small beginning has been made. The Librarian 
reports that on the first of November last the Library 
contained 64 bound and 132 unbound books and pamphlets. 
Since that date have been added by gift and purchase 173 
bound and 78 unbound volumes, bringing the total number 
up to 447 books and pamphlets now in the Library. In 
the meantime we are in daily need of encyclopedias, diction- 
aries, works on painting, history, sculpture, archaeology, and 
art in general. Members will probably find in their libraries 
very many such works, which will be acceptable and valuable 
for the use of the Museum. Expenditures of this nature 
are among the constant necessities of such an institution; 
but the Trustees have been compelled to confine their 
purchases to the lowest measure of absolute need; the labor 
of preparing catalogues has been increased and delayed by 
the necessity of sending to distant libraries in the city for 
reference. While the present demand is only for a working 
library for manifest uses, it is hoped that we shall in time 
possess a library which will serve all the purposes of refer- 
ences, in all departments of Art, of visitors to the Museum." 
This appeal to supply the needs of the Library seems to* 
have borne fruit. At least, before 1881 was over, Heber 
R. Bishop, later a Trustee of the institution, had given 
the Library an endowment fund of $2,000, which was in- 
creased in January, 1883, to $5,000. Mr. Andrews writes of 
this generous gift, "The feeling of encouragement that this 



gift of Mr. Bishop afforded the librarian a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago is still with him, a distinct and pleasant memory." 

The Library, the nucleus of which was thus formed, had 
a growth by no means rapid. The annual income would 
not permit of extensive purchases, and gifts of books were 
not offered in such abundance or with such frequency as 
gifts of works of art. Comparatively few people realized 
the imperative need of an art library for the well-rounded 
development of a museum of art. Scattering gifts gave 
only slight encouragement. In 1885, however, a substantial 
increase was received from John Bigelow in a collection 
of about 660 books and pamphlets relating exclusively to 
Benjamin Franklin. These had been gathered during many 
years by William H. Huntington of Paris, for twenty years 
correspondent of the New York Tribune abroad, a man 
of refined artistic taste, ardor as a collector, and unostenta- 
tious generosity, who had also collected and presented to 
the Museum the many objects medals, bronzes, porcelains, 
miniatures, engravings, and prints relating to Washington, 
Lafayette, and Franklin, which are known as the Huntington 

At this period bequests of importance began to enrich 
the corporation. In 1881 S. Whitney Phoenix, an ardent 
lover of beauty who was numbered among the Trustees, 
had bequeathed such of his Curiosities, Antiquities, and 
Works of Art as the Trustees should select. These were 
valued at $50,000 and so his name now stands among the 
Museum Benefactors. 

In 1883 the bequest of Levi Hale Willard, a New York 
business man, which amounted to over $100,000, was received 
by the Trustees. By the conditions of the will this was to 
be "applied to the purchase of a collection of models, casts, 
photographs, engravings, and other objects illustrative of 
the art and science of architecture." This bequest may have 



come partly as a result, somewhat remote, of the appeal 
for funds to buy casts and other works of art which had 
been issued in 1879. The will required that the collection 
should be made under the direction of a Commission chosen 
by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of 
Architects, with the stipulation that Napoleon Le Brun 
should be one of this Commission. A posthumous letter 
to Mr. Le Brun expressed a desire that Pierre Le Brun, the 
son of Napoleon Le Brun, might make the collection under 
the direction of the Commission. This letter, dated Novem- 
ber 25, 1 88 1, reads in part as follows: 

'You are aware that I have long since made a bequest 
to the Metropolitan Museum of Art of money to be devoted 
to the founding of a Museum of Architecture to be placed 
on exhibition in its galleries. It is a subject that has often 
been discussed between us for years past. 

" My object in writing this is to put on record my desire 
lately expressed to you that your son Pierre be assigned 
the duty of making the collection under the direction of the 
Commission designated in my will. He thoroughly under- 
stands my views, and is in harmony with them, and I am 
satisfied would carry them out to my entire satisfaction. 

" If it shall prove that I have done something to cultivate 
and encourage a popular taste of this grandest of all the arts, 
I shall be recompensed for what I have done, although I 
may never know of it." 

A report written by Pierre Le Brun throws interesting 
light upon Mr. Willard's character and his motives in making 
this disposition of his money. It reads: "Mr. Willard had 
traveled considerably and was an enthusiastic admirer of 
the many great works of architecture he had seen. He really 
believed that art to be the grandest and the most compre- 
hensive of all the fine arts; and it was with the ambition of 



doing all in his power to cultivate and encourage a popular 
taste for it, to help such students as were unable to secure 
the advantages of travel, and to elevate the standard of 
American work by presenting choice selections of master- 
pieces in all styles, that he desired to found an historical 
Architectural Collection. He wished the Collection to tell 
a clear, graphic story of the progress of the art from the 
earliest period to the time of the Renaissance - - no impor- 
tant type was to be slighted - - neither was the collection to 
consist merely of fragmentary bits of detail. It should 
present all the distinctive styles in historical sequence, and 
in such manner too, as to show their inter-relationships and 
transitions. It should comprise carefully made, good-sized 
models of typical buildings, casts of doorways and other 
minor architectural features, and a complete collection of 
casts of applied ornament, sculpture, and architectural detail, 
sets of photographs, and plain and tinted illustrations of 

The bequest was accepted and its terms faithfully carried 
out. The American Institute of Architects appointed Napo- 
leon Le Brun, Alfred J. Bloor, and Emlen T. Littell as their 
Commission and Pierre Le Brun as purchasing agent. The 
Trustees for their part appointed three of their number to 
manage the fund and pay for the casts purchased by the 
Commission. Mr. Le Brun made three visits to Europe, 
going to almost every place where casts might be seen or 
obtained, and displaying good judgment in his selection. 
The first casts were exhibited in 1889, and the final report 
of the Commission to the Trustees handed in in 1894. Dur- 
ing these years it brought together nearly all the architectural 
casts now shown in the large hall, including the "rich 
assortment of details of all styles and periods, the full-sized 
sections of the Parthenon, the temple of Vespasian and other 
Roman temples, the cast of the Monument of Lysikrates, 



and the models of the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak, the Par- 
thenon, the Pantheon, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, 
which were made expressly for this collection, under the 
direction of Charles Chipiez, by A. Joly, of Paris." 1 

To Henry G. Marquand, one of the Museum's earliest 
and most loyal friends, whose generosity we shall have 
frequent occasion to record, is due the beginning (in 1886) 
of the collection of sculptural casts, procured by his gift 
of $10,000. Such a collection Mr. Marquand believed to 
be the greatest need of the Museum at that time. 

Another large bequest was received in 1887 by the will 
of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, this time of paintings, a col- 
lection ready at once for transference to the Museum. Miss 
Wolfe has already been referred to as the only woman whose 
name is found on the first subscription list in 1870. From 
that time until her death, April 4, 1887, her interest in the 
Museum was unflagging, and her contributions for the pur- 
chase of works of art generous. "Her charities were large 
in number, generous in amount, catholic in character." 
Her will indicates her feeling as regards her bequest, which 
she styles "my entire collection of modern oil paintings, 
with their frames, and also my water-color drawings with 
their frames, which paintings include the original portrait 
of my late father, John David Wolfe, by Huntington, and 
my own portrait by Alexandre Cabanel." These she gives 
"with the desire and hope on my part that the same may 
be had, held, and exhibited by that institution for the 
enjoyment and recreation of all who may frequent its rooms, 
and also with a view to the education and cultivation of the 
public taste for the fine arts." 

The terms of Miss Wolfe's will show unusual foresight. 
She provides for the safety and maintenance of her large 

1 Catalogue of the Collection of Casts, page vii. 

2 Annual Reports, 1871-1902, page 384. 

21 I 


collection, for she expressly requires its exhibition in a 
fireproof gallery and bequeaths $200,000 as a fund for the 
judicious care of the paintings and for additions to the collec- 
tion of "other original modern oil paintings either by native 
or foreign artists ... in the departments of art known 
as figure, landscape, and genre subjects." This new method 
of giving was most gratefully appreciated by the Trustees, 
to whom hitherto every new gift, however desirable might 
be its acquisition, had meant added expense. It brought 
new hope and courage, thus proving as valuable for its 
inspiration as for its intrinsic worth. One of the galleries 
formerly used for the paintings by the Old Masters was set 
apart for the Wolfe Collection, though in this way some of 
the permanent collection had to be retired, so crowded was 
the building. 

The first steps toward the formation of an Egyptian 
collection came in this same period, the nucleus acquired 
with money from the sale of Cypriote duplicates. The 
Cypriote antiquities were sold to Leland Stanford, then 
Governor of California, and the money obtained was used 
for purchasing antiquities which the Egyptian government 
considered duplicates for the Museum at Boulac. This 
arrangement proved most satisfactory, the objects secured 
being of the highest importance. Among other treasures 
part of the contents of a dynasty tomb at Gurnet- 
Murrai discovered with the priest's seals intact by Prof. 
Gaston Maspero became the property of our Museum. Of 
this find Prof. Maspero, to whom the Museum has often 
been greatly indebted for his personal interest and helpful- 
ness, wrote the following enthusiastic account: 'This year 
1 have had the good fortune to discover a tomb of the XX 
dynasty, probably of the reign of Ramses V, which has 
never been opened before; sarcophagi, mummies, furniture, 
in short, everything was found still in its primitive place. 



it is the first time in sixty years that such a chance has 
happened to a European, and I make you profit by it. Some 
of the objects which this rich tomb contained are of high 
historical importance, as they were hitherto merely known 
to have existed by monumental records or fragments and no 
other Museum possesses entire specimens except your 
Museum and that at Boulac." 

Two letters written by John Bigelow contain references 
to some sort of public opening of this collection early in 1887. 
One says, " If in town on Saturday, 1 shall certainly attend 
the bringing out reception of your Egyptian bud, at 2:30," 
and in the other, he alludes to the invitations to '"the 
Opening' of that Egyptian damsel." Mr. Bigelow's letters, 
we might add, on however trivial or ordinary a subject, 
always have a certain flavor of individuality. For example, 
in accepting the Trusteeship offered him, he wrote, " It will 
always give me pleasure to serve the Museum whether as 
an Officer or in the ranks; whether on foot or on horse- 

In many respects the most interesting, indeed epoch- 
making loan collection of this period was that of the 
works of George Frederick Watts, R. A., of London, held in 
1884 and 1885. This was peculiarly important for two 
reasons: first, it resulted from the urgent request of several 
gentlemen' by no means all of whom were connected in any 
official capacity with the Museum, thus showing a more 
general interest in the works of the greatest living artists 
than had earlier existed; and second, it was the first time 
that an invitation had been sent by American lovers of art 
to an English painter to exhibit here. The difficulty involved 
in transporting a collection in safety from England to Amer- 
ica seemed to the Trustees very great. Their fear that 
unexpected items of expense would arise is evident in a 
clause of their first resolution on the subject, "provided no 



expenses be incurred by the Museum beyond those of 
unpacking and hanging and repacking of said pictures." 

Mr. Watts with extreme modesty hesitated to accept 
what he considered a flattering invitation. His letter of 
acceptance reads thus: 

" I scarcely know how to reply to the flattering invitation 
1 have lately received to send some of my pictures for 
exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New 
York; being afraid the invitation has been sent under very 
considerable misapprehension, believing the idea must have 
originated with some sympathizers with my aspirations and 
intentions who have from their sympathy seen achievement 
where there has been only effort. 

" 1 have, it is true, felt very strongly that art, losing its 
great missions, being no longer employed in the service of 
religion or the state, is in danger of losing its character as a 
great intellectual utterance; and in working, my efforts have 
been actuated by a desire to establish correspondence 
between them and noble poetry and great literature, but 1 
can by no means claim for them more than evidence of that 
aim. By setting aside considerations of exhibition and 
money making, 1 have found myself able to carry on my 
work in a very independent manner, and have had a con- 
siderable number of compositions in hand at the same time, 
working now upon one, now upon another, according to 
mood or convenience; and keeping my pictures constantly 
around me, it has happened that 1 have often obliterated 
finished work in order to make some improvement which 
has remained uncompleted; the result of this habit being 
that most of my pictures are extremely incomplete. This 
is comparatively of little consequence in my own gallery, 
but I cannot think it right to call the attention of the public 
to things in this state; and I feel most strongly that to 
justify the presumption of coming before the American 



public . . . the works ought at least to have the merit 
of completion. Also 1 must add that my work can in no 
degree be considered as representing any section of the 
English School, and can have no interest from that point 
of view." 

Extraordinary interest was aroused by this exhibition, and 
numerous letters and requests were received that the exhibi- 
tion, which was originally planned to continue from Novem- 
ber, 1884, to April, 1885, should be retained for another six 
months. This extension of time was arranged with the kind 
consent of Mr. Watts, conveyed in these words, " If my work 
can help to stimulate a regard for art which, appealing rather 
to the intellect and finer emotions than the senses, can never 
be popular, I am too happy in being accepted as a pioneer in 
such a direction to hesitate, and do willingly consent that 
they remain in the Museum till October, according to your 
desire." The interest continued unabated, and even after 
the announced date of closing, letters and telegrams of 
inquiry were sent to the Secretary on the hope that the 
paintings might still be seen. The catalogue issued proved 
an added attraction, for it contained an account of the 
methods and aims of the artist and a description of his 
intentions in the pictures, written by a pupil of Watts, 
Mrs. E. I . Barrington, and submitted to him for his approval. 
Of this catalogue an illustrated edition (price 25 cents) and 
an unillustrated edition (price 10 cents) were issued, and 
nearly seven thousand copies were sold. It is interesting to 
recall that for this important loan exhibition the Museum 
was largely indebted to the initiative of Miss Gertrude 
Mead, who later became Mrs. Edwin A. Abbey. 

From this time on for many years, although the collec- 
tions were enriched by many valuable loans, neither the 
annual reports nor the special catalogues nor the minutes 
themselves contain definite information that the customary 



semi-annual loan exhibitions were held regularly. This, 
however, does not mean that there were no loan exhibitions, 
but they were held less regularly, it seems. A collection of 
Dutch and Flemish paintings by Old Masters, owned by 
Charles Sedelmeyer of Paris, was lent for a short time 
in the winter of 1886-87 by invitation of the Trustees. 
The Western Gallery was granted to the Society of American 
Artists for their eighth exhibition from April 15, 1886, to 
October 15, 1886, subject to the rules of the Museum, but 
on the understanding that the selection and hanging of the 
pictures should rest with the Society. This exhibition was 
entirely different from any other exhibition in the Museum 
before or since in two respects; namely, the pictures were 
understood to be for sale and prizes were awarded for the 
best paintings. At the end of this exhibition The Glass 
Blowers of Murano by Charles F. Ulrich, which had re- 
ceived a prize of $2,500, was presented to the Museum. 

Whether the omission of the semi-annual loan exhibitions 
was the result of clearly-defined policy or only an accidental 
lapse, the records do not show. From the correspondence 
we judge that the difficulties connected with such frequent 
loan exhibitions were proving great; to keep them up to 
standard was indeed hard; besides, room was undoubtedly 
at a premium in the Museum, and loan exhibitions must 
often mean temporary removal from exhibition of some of 
the permanent collection. 

In fact, even as early as 1879 when the collections were 
first placed in their new home, the scarcity of room in the 
new building was felt to be serious. At the very time that 
the Trustees were planning for the opening of the Museum 
in 1880, they were discussing the necessity of an appeal to 
the Legislature for an appropriation to build a new wing. 
Never was the building sufficient to hold and exhibit properly 
the possessions of the Museum, and as the collections 



increased, the insufficiency of space grew more noticeably 
apparent. Although an application was made to the 
Legislature in 1880, the appropriation on which the first 
extension was built was not authorized until the session of 
I884, 1 an act passed earlier having become inoperative 
through the failure of the Board of Apportionment to place 
the amount in the tax-levy. By 1884 the need for enlarged 
quarters was still greater, as the Willard Bequest meant 
the addition of objects that require much space for display. 
This new act provided that the work should be done by 
the Department of Parks, on plans to be made by the 
Trustees of the Museum and approved by the Department. 
This procedure is in marked contrast to the earlier method 
of work, in which the Park Department made the plans and 
the Museum approved. Perhaps experience had taught 
that the plans should be made by the persons most concerned. 
Theodore Weston, who had been so closely connected 
with the early history of the Museum, was appointed 
architect, acting under the immediate supervision of a Com- 
mittee of the Trustees. Associated with him in this work 
of designing and planning was Arthur L. Tuckerman, a 
talented young man, later Manager of the Art Schools. 
This extension was built to the south, and the new entrance 
on that side superseded the former entrances on east and 

But even before this new wing, covering more ground 
and having a greater floor space than the original building, 
had been opened to the Museum, the need for some system 
of departmental organization was obvious. With the trans- 
ference of the collections to the Park building in 1879, the 
period of a director-controlled rather than a committee- 
controlled museum began, and at that time the duties and 
powers of the Director were definitely outlined. For about 

1 See Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, page 45. 



three years all the work was done, and well done, by the 
executive ability and industry of one man, General Cesnola, 
with a corps of employees hired by the month and one or 
two young men as his assistants. 1 This arrangement was 
at best but temporary; the large additions to the collections, 
the demand for carefully prepared catalogues, the constantly 
increasing amount of correspondence, the almost infinite 
detail connected with the receipt of objects as gifts or loans 
and their proper installation -- all demanded a staff of 
specially trained men competent to make the collections 
useful to the public. In 1882 Professor William Henry 
Goodyear was appointed the Curator, and his duties were 
prescribed. Four years later a more systematic division of 
labor was carefully considered, General Cesnola having made 
a thorough study of the organization of various European 
museums, and a plan of departmental organization suggested 
by that in the British Museum 2 was adopted. Three depart- 

1 One of these young men, Waldo S. Pratt, who served the Museum for 
eighteen months from 1880 to 1882, reviews his accomplishment in that 
short period in a list that might well challenge comparison. "1 have 
partly managed three Loan Collections, have arranged two large collections 
and a number of small ones, have prepared and published eight catalogues, 
including the Gifford Memorial, and published one (the King gems), have 
done an enormous amount of copying, listing, filing, and letter-writing 
for my own department, for the Library, and for the General, have acted 
for a year as Museum correspondent of the American Art Review, have 
been a sort of business manager about various small matters, and have 
been in nearly constant attendance at the Museum." 

The departmental organization of the British Museum was a gradual 
development, as need arose. At the outset three departments were 
created: Manuscripts, Printed Books, and Natural History. In 1807 
Marbles and other Antiquities, together with Prints, Drawings, Coins, 
and Medals, were made a separate department. Thirty years later the 
Prints and Drawings were severed from the Antiquities. By 1857 necessity 
had arisen for a division of the Department of Antiquities into four de- 
partments as follows: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Oriental Antiquities, 
British and Mediaeval Antiquities and Ethnography, and Coins and 
Medals. Such a division exists to-day, except that the Department of 



ments were created, each independent of the other and 
under the care of a curator, 1 who in each case was respon- 
sible to the Director for the faithful performance of his 
duties. The entire field was divided as follows: The 
Department of Paintings, under Professor W. H. Goodyear 
as Curator, was to embrace all the paintings, drawings, 
etchings, water-colors, engravings, prints, textile fabrics, 
photographs, and books for exhibition (exclusive of the 
Museum Library); the Department of Sculpture, under 
Professor Isaac H. Hall as Curator, all the sculpture, antiqui- 
ties, inscriptions, jewelry, glassware, pottery, porcelain, and 
such other objects of art as commonly are termed Bric-a-Brac; 
the Department of Casts, temporarily under the charge of the 
Curator of Sculpture, all copies, fac-similes, or reproductions, 
either in metal, plaster, or any other material, the moulding 
atelier, and the Art Schools. Professor John A. Paine, an 
excellent scholar and archaeologist, was appointed Curator of 
Casts in 1889 and served faithfully until 1906, when the office 
was abolished in a new departmental arrangement. This plan 
of departmental organization was in force until Gen. Cesnola's 
death. As need arose, new departments were created. 

Oriental Antiquities has been superseded apparently by the Department 
of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities. The "Literary Group," rep- 
resented in the first classification by two heads, Manuscripts and Printed 
Books, is now cared for under four heads: Printed Books (including Maps 
and Plans), Manuscripts, Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts, and 
Prints and Drawings. The Department of Natural History has been 
removed to South Kensington. 

'A sentence in a letter from a gentleman to whom the curatorship of the 
department of paintings was offered expresses the vague idea of the duties 
of a curator which many people then had and perhaps some people today. 
He wrote, "I am largely in the dark as to the duties of Curators. I have 
all my life been an active man; work has been and is a large part of my 
existence. I could not stand around the galleries all day long merely 
looking at the pictures and the men to see that all was well." He 
evidently apprehended that he would have surplus time hanging heavy 
on his hands, so little was the important work of a curator appreciated. 



This volume should contain some mention of the attain- 
ments and the faithful service of Professor Isaac H. Hall, who 
for many years prior to his appointment as Curator of the 
Department of Sculpture had contributed liberally to 
advance the welfare of the Museum. His term of service 
ended only with his death in 1896. Professor Hall was a man 
of profound scholarship, the acknowledged leader of Ameri- 
ican scholars in the Syriac language and literature. 

In two details only was the Constitution amended during 
the years 1880 to I888. 1 These were to provide for the 
increase of the Executive Committee from six Trustees 
besides the Officers, who were ex-officio members, to eight 
Trustees, and to allow the appointment of a successor to 
a Patronship or Fellowship not only by the endorsement 
in the holder's handwriting on the certificate or the last 
will and testament, as previously, but also by the nomination 
of the Executor or Administrator of the deceased, subject 
to the approval of the Board of Trustees. The earlier rule 
by its very strictness had proved objectionable: it could not 
wisely be followed without exceptions. 

During this period two public meetings of intense interest 
held in the Museum helped to bring it into great prominence. 
In neither case, however, did the Museum initiate the move- 
ment or arrange for the exercises. The earlier was the 
occasion of the presentation of the Egyptian obelisk to the 
city of New York on February 22, 1881. This obelisk, the 
gift of the Khedive of Egypt, had been brought from Egypt 
by Lieutenant Commander Gorringe of the United States 
Navy at an expense of nearly $100,000 (which was paid by 
W. H. Vanderbilt) and erected on a knoll west of the 
Museum. Commander Gorringe gave to the Museum two 
of the bronze crabs formerly placed by the Romans at the 

1 For summary of amendments, see Charter, Constitution. By-Laws, 
Lease, Laws, page 75. 



corners of the base of the obelisk when it was carried from 
its original site, Heliopolis, to Alexandria. 

The other event was the unveiling of the Poe Memorial, a 
monument by Richard Henry Park, presented by the Actors 
of New York to the Museum on May 4, 1885. According 
to a printed account of the exercises, "The occasion was one 
of dignity and impressiveness. The platform for the orators 
of the day was at the east end of the building. Between 
four and five thousand people, representative of the intel- 
lectual and wealthy classes of the metropolis, and a few 
pilgrims from other cities, listened with deep and sympa- 
thetic attention to the proceedings." At this interesting 
event, among other features, Edwin Booth, who had at 
that time an international reputation as a tragic actor, made 
the speech of presentation; William R. Alger, who was earlier 
minister of the Church of the Messiah, delivered a com- 
memorative oration; and William Winter read a poem. 

These first years as a whole form a period of remarkable 
growth and development along many lines. The property 
value of the collections had increased from about $480,000 in 
1880 to over two and a quarter million dollars in 1888. The 
number of members had grown from 714 in 1880 to 1774 in 
1 888. The collections had received accessions of great number 
and for those days excellent quality. There were added 
several collections of great value besides those already 
mentioned, and many individual paintings of unusual impor- 
tance. We may briefly name the following collections: 
old Venetian glass, presented by James Jackson Jarves, 
perhaps the best American art connoisseur of his day; 
drawings, donated by Cornelius Vanderbilt; the Charvet 
Collection of Ancient Glass, given by Henry G. Mar- 
quand; etchings by Seymour Haden and Whistler, presented 
by William L. Andrews; ancient musical instruments, the 
gift of Joseph W. Drexel; twenty oil paintings, given by 



George I. Seney; miniatures, boxes, and other objects 
in gold, crystal, enamel, etc., presented by the Misses 
Sarah and Josephine Lazarus; valuable laces, particularly 
Venice points, the gift of John Jacob Astor shortly after 
the death of Mrs. Astor and in compliance with her wishes; 
and Babylonian and Assyrian cylinders, seals, etc., purchased 
from Dr. William Hayes Ward, who had collected them. 

Our account of the first years in the park would not be 
complete without some reference to the attacks upon the 
authenticity and consequent value of the Cypriote antiquities 
which made those years so unnecessarily hard for both 
General Cesnola and the Trustees, but which resulted in the 
complete vindication of the authenticity and genuineness of 
General Cesnola's collections in the Museum. The first 
publication of the charges, in the Art Amateur for August, 
1880, bore the signature of Gaston L. Feuardent, a French 
dealer in antiques, son of M. Feuardent of the firm of 
Rollin and Feuardent. The specific charges of restorations 
intentionally false and repairs purposefully incorrect were 
related to seven objects; while an eighth charge pertained 
to the bronzes, which, it was stated, had been provided with 
an artificial patina. 

By the express wish of General Cesnola, and in sympathy 
with his opinion that an archaeological collection to be of 
any value must be free from the slightest question of 
authenticity, the trustees appointed two of their number, 
John Q. A. Ward and William C. Prime, to associate with 
themselves three gentlemen not connected with the Board, 
and so to form a Committee, to discover by an exhaustive 
investigation the truth or falsity of the statements. The 
three chosen, gentlemen of special ability, recognized posi- 
tion, and high character, were Frederick A. P. Barnard, 
LL.D., President of Columbia Un versity, who was made 
Chairman; Hon. Charles P. Daly, President of the American 



Geographical Society, and Roswell D. Hitchcock, President 
of the Union Theological Seminary and the Palestine Explora- 
tion Society. Every possible means was taken to discover the 
truth. As their report states, "We have invited and received 
the valuable assistance of well-known sculptors and practical 
stone-cutters and carvers, have taken the opinion of scholars, 
have made microscopic, chemical, and other examinations 
of the surfaces, and have subjected some of the repaired 
objects to prolonged baths, taken them to pieces, and verified 
the relation of the fractured surfaces. We have had before 
us original photographs of the objects, taken at the place 
of discovery, and at later periods, and abundant evidence 
of their history down to and during the process of repairing 
and arranging for exhibition in the present Museum build- 
ing." As a result of so searching an investigation, the Com- 
mittee could report that each and all of the charges were 
"without foundation," and that they found nothing "to 
cast a shadow" on the reputation of the Cesnola Collection. 
This report, dated January 26, 1881, might well seem 
sufficient to silence all detractors, but not so. Incriminating 
newspaper articles continued to appear and finally a pamphlet 
was written in the spring of 1882, by Clarence Cook, an 
art critic, "one of the group of talented men who did so 
much to make the New York Tribune a power a generation 
ago," charging that two statues were "a fraudulent patch- 
work of unrelated parts." Upon this direct accusation the 
Executive Committee ordered that the two statues men- 
tioned, an Aphrodite and Eros and a Figure holding a 
Horned Head, should be removed from their glass cases and 
placed on the floor of the Grand Hall where they might be 
approached and examined from all sides in a strong light. 
" Members of the Museum, the public, and especially editors 
of public journals, sculptors, workers in stone, scholars, 
and all persons interested in the truthfulness of archaeological 



objects" were "invited to make the most careful examination 
of the statues." The claim of the Museum was that each 
was monolithic. 

Full advantage of this invitation was taken, and during the 
following weeks thousands examined the discredited statues. 
Again every indignity was heaped upon defenseless stone; 
visitors washed, chiseled, cut, scraped, treated with caustic 
potash and other chemicals, brushed with wire brushes, and 
examined microscopically to their hearts' content. Per- 
chance, the end justified the means; at any rate, the verdict 
was unanimously in favor of the authenticity of the statues. 
Several sculptors and workers in stone sent unsolicited let- 
ters, exculpating completely the condemned statues. Among 
these were Robert Ellin, Daniel Chester French, Charles 
Calverley, Launt Thompson, and John Rogers. 

But not yet was the controversy ended. In 1880 Gen- 
eral Cesnola had "published a brief and total denial of the 
charges against him and the collection." He had also sub- 
mitted both to the Trustees and to the Committee of 
Investigation detailed contradiction of the accusations. 
Except for these statements, General Cesnola had refrained 
from defending himself in print. He had listened to the 
advice of his friends and persisted in a dignified silence, 
which was most wise, though most difficult. His brief public 
denial, however, gave sufficient provocation to his opponent, 
Mr. Feuardent, to bring a libel suit against him. The 
trial began on October 31, 1883. For months General 
Cesnola's counsel, Allen W. Evarts, Albert Stickney, and 
Joseph H. Choate, had been preparing evidence. The 
trustees loyally supported the Director with their entire 
confidence and their financial aid. They insisted on bearing 
the expense of the trial. Hon. Nathaniel Shipman, the 
presiding judge, conducted the case with great fairness. 
The jury, on February 2, 1884, "sustained the entire integ- 



rity of the Cesnola Collection [and] established the baseless- 
ness of each and every one of the charges" 1 against it. 
General Cesnola's conduct during this trying ordeal was 
most satisfactory to the Trustees. William C. Prime 
wrote of it to John Taylor Johnston, "We agree that 
we have never known a witness present such an unvaried 
appearance of calm and conscious rectitude." In the 
Museum files are many letters of sympathy over the 
trial or congratulation over its issue. Among the writers 
are such well-known scholars as President Andrew D. 
White of Cornell University and Professor Charles Eliot 
Norton of Harvard University; such connoisseurs and art 
critics as James Jackson Jarvis, Charles C. Perkins, and 
A. S. Murray of the British Museum; such writers as E. L. 
Godkin of the Nation and George William Curtis. Time 
has corroborated the findings of the court. Twenty-five 
years later. Prof. J. L. Myres, the leading authority to-day 
upon the art and civilization of Cyprus, now r Wykeham 
Professor of Ancient History at Oxford University, wrote 
of the Cesnola antiquities, "The collection, which is probably 
in any case the largest single collection of Cypriote antiqui- 
ties, contains also a large number of examples of Cypriote 
art which are of the highest importance for the history and 
civilization of ancient Cyprus." 

'Annual Reports, 1871-1902, page 262. 







I888-- 1894 

FROM one point of view the career of the Museum has 
consisted of erecting buildings, of adding wing after 
wing to the building in the Park. Each portion 
occupied has but shown the need of greater space; almost 
simultaneously with the moving into larger quarters has 
come the recognition that these rooms were far from ade- 
quate. For example, on December 18, 1888, the first wing 
was opened, and June 15, 1889, the Legislature authorized 
the appropriation by the city of $400,000 for the further 
extension of the building. 1 

The exercises for the opening of the New Building, as it 
was termed, were held on the afternoon of December 18, 
1888, in the old Central Hall, which was thronged by fully 
8,000 people. Among those honored by seats upon the 
platform we note the name of John Jay, whom in a sense we 
might call the Father of the Museum. The exercises con- 
sisted of prayer by Rev. Dr. John Hall, pastor of the Fifth 
Avenue Presbyterian Church; delivery of the new building 
to the Trustees by the President of the Public Parks, Hon. 
J. Hampden Robb; acceptance on behalf of the Trustees, by 
the Treasurer, Henry G. Marquand; an address to the Mem- 
bers of the Museum, by the First Vice President, William C. 
Prime, LL.D.; and the declaration that the new building 

1 See Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, page 50. 



was open, by Hon. Abram S. Hewitt, Mayor of New York 
City. The speeches were interspersed with singing by the 
Mendelssohn Glee Club, "who kindly lent their aid to make 
the occasion memorable." 1 One of their members, James 
Herbert Morse, wrote the words and Joseph Mosenthal the 
music for an ode, Of Glorious Birth was Art, which was sung 
by the club. 

Shall we supplement our own simple account of the 
exercises of that day with a few more ornate sentences from 
the report in the New York Herald on December 19, 1888? 

' The wind whistled through the leafless trees, swept over 
the bare spaces almost with cyclonic force, and whirled 
around the tall shaft that had come from the banks of the 
far-off Nile -- Cleopatra's Needle. And yet several thou- 
sand people made their way to the scene of the ceremonies. 

" First they glanced at the lofty column, the silent monu- 
ment of bygone ages of civilization, and then hurried into the 
modern building, which has been styled 'classical Renais- 
sance.' A striking contrast. 

'The ceremonies were held in the large hall of the old 
part, and the visitors found it well warmed and con- 
veniently arranged for hearing and seeing. There, in the 
course of the afternoon, rang out the silvery tones of 
eloquence in praise of art, and echoing through the vast 
space the delicious harmonies of the Mendelssohn Glee 
Club. Music, eloquence, and the beauty of the softer sex 
paid tribute to the most glorious creations of the brain and 
hand of man. 

'The civilization of the Western world, in rich robes of fur 
and costly fabrics from the loom, brushed by the glistening 
marbles of the old civilization of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. 
From many a breathing canvas strange figures in strange 

1 Annual Report, page 423. 



costumes looked down upon a demonstration of wealth that 
bygone ages never dreamed of. The fair face of the Western 
maiden gazed upon pictures epitomizing the most thrilling, 
the most dramatic histories of France, of England, and of 
Italy, of peoples whose deeds were the theme of poet, painter, 


and sculptor -- deeds which have no parallel in our own brief 

John Taylor Johnston the first President of the Museum, 
whose interest in the Museum never flagged, was unable, 
by reason of increasing infirmity, to take any active part in 
these exercises. The Trustees, wishing to honor one to 
whom the Museum owed so much and to avail themselves of 
a continuance of his wise counsel, appointed him Honorary 
President for Life in February, 1889, creating that office by 
an amendment to the constitution by which any person who 
has held the office of President for ten successive years may 
be elected an Honorary President for Life. 

The second President was Henry G. Marquand, whose 
discriminating taste in art, long interest in the Museum, 
generous gifts to its collections, and intimate knowledge of 



its affairs peculiarly fitted him to be a worthy successor to 
Mr. Johnston. 

It was preeminently fitting that Dr. William C. Prime 
should deliver the address of the day, inasmuch as he had 
been the First Vice President since 1874. As Mr. Johnston 
grew feebler, more and more responsibility fell upon Dr. 
Prime. He had been associated in the most intimate con- 
claves of the Museum from the very first. Wherever sound 
advice, scholarly opinion, and self-sacrificing industry were 
required, he had been foremost in providing these without 
stint. His clear, decisive mind and splendid common sense 
are apparent even on a casual reading of his speech. Out 
of so much that is worthy of being quoted here, those 
sections that illustrate these traits are purposely chosen. 

" It is very pleasant," he said, "to talk about art, as some 
do, as a kind of goddess, calling into existence paintings, 
statues, temples, and museums. But art is after all practical 
work. Her noblest products and her homeliest always did 
and do cost money, darics, staters, ducats, dollars. That was 
a wise thought, in the earliest ages of art, of the monarch 
who recorded on the Great Pyramid the quantity of onions 
and radishes and garlic consumed by its builders. 

'There are still left some who ask, What is the use of 
beauty? What is the practical good of increasing art pro- 
duction? How does it pay? The life blood of modern com- 
merce and industry is the love of beauty. This mighty city, 
its wealth and power, rest on this foundation, trade in beauty, 
buying and selling beauty. Is there any exaggeration in 
this? Begin with the lowest possible illustration and ask 
the questioner, Why are your boots polished black? Why 
did you pay ten cents for a shine ? How many thousand 
times ten cents are paid every day in New York for beauty 
of boots. . . . Remove from Western races their love of 


T-TH-H M-S:- I K ': i rp.,,in ',.. 


ii if i km , ; i E l irir 11 11 11 

~ ~ < " 1 i I i i " rr r 

At. ^_ -* 



color, their various tastes in cotton prints, and one factory 
would supply all the wants supplied by fifty. Consider for 
one instant what is the trade which supports your long 
avenues of stores crowded with purchasers, not only in these 
Christmas times, but all the year around. Enumerate 
carpets, upholstery, wall papers, furniture, handsome 
houses, the innumerable beauties of life which employ 
millions of people in their production, and you will realize 
that but for the commercial and industrial love of beauty 
your city would be a wilderness, your steamers and railways 
would vanish, your wealth would be poverty, your popu- 
lation would starve. Yes, there is money in teaching a 
people to love beautiful things." 

Two sentences spoken that day put into words a very 
strong feeling abroad at the time that the Museum, to carry 
out its popular aim, should be open on Sundays. These are 
a wish expressed by the President of the Department of 
Parks, "And with that hope may I couple the wish, and 
in so doing I believe I am voicing the sentiment of a great 
majority of the people of this city, that the day is not far 
distant when the Museum will be kept opened on Sundays as 
well as all other holidays," and the words of the Mayor of the 
City, Hon. Abram S. Hewitt, "This magnificent addition to 
the Museum ... I now declare to be open for the use 
and instruction and recreation of its citizens forever, and 
from that everlasting future I trust the time will come when 
on no day shall they be excluded." These expressions were 
received with applause by the audience and noted with 
approval by the daily press. 

The question of Sunday opening was not by any means a 
new problem. Even in 1871 during the first canvass for 
funds two subscriptions were made only upon the receipt of 
the following pledge, given in writing: "It is not the inten- 
tion of the promoters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art 








ever to open the same on Sundays as a place of amusement. 
It is distinctly understood that your subscription ... is 
made on that condition." In 1880, soon after the occupancy 
of the park building one trustee, Joseph H. Choate, 
moved that the Museum should be opened Sunday, but his 
motion was laid on the table. The next year outside in- 
fluence was exerted to bring about Sunday opening. A 
petition signed by over 10,000 persons was sent to the De- 
partment of Public Parks, requesting that the two museums, 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American 
Museum of Natural History, should open their doors on 
Sunday. In neither museum were the Trustees ready for 
the step. So the matter was for several years laid on the 
table or merely considered, but not acted upon. 

Four years later, in 1885, renewed pressure was brought to 
bear on the officials of the Museums. The Department of 
Public Parks was heard from again, this time not for- 
warding a petition, but sending its own request that the 
Museum be opened on Sunday. The Board of Aldermen 
took up the matter and sent in a similar request (dated 
May 2Oth) with a wording of no uncertain tenor. The 
Trustees were requested "to open their respective build- 
ings to the public on Sundays, from two o'clock to seven 
o'clock in the afternoon during the summer months, and 
from half-past one to half-past four o'clock during the 
winter months," and further "to act upon this said 
request without delay, so that the people may have an 
opportunity afforded them to visit the said museums on 
Sundays during the early part of the coming summer." 
The Board of Estimate and Apportionment passed a resolu- 
tion that it was the sense of that Board that the Museums 
should be opened to the public on Sunday, and they let it be 
known that they were not inclined to furnish the annual 
appropriation, unless their wishes on Sunday opening were 



heeded. The newspapers clamored for the same boon. 
The Central Labor Union and the American Secular Union 
were alined on the same side. Lengthy rolls of names and 
carefully prepared lists of reasons were forwarded to the 
common committee of the two Museums that had the matter 
under consideration. 

The petitions, however, were not entirely on the side 
of Sunday opening. The American Sabbath Union, the 
Presbytery of New York, The Ladies' Christian Union, 
The New York East Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, many of the clergymen of all denominations, in 
short, those who feared the introduction of an entering wedge 
toward the Continental Sabbath, passed resolutions and 
signed petitions against Sunday opening. 

Burdened by this weight of argument pro and con, the 
Trustees were still less decided what to do. For one thing, 
the members of these boards were far from united in a desire 
for so radical an innovation. Some had serious religious 
scruples against such breaking of the Sabbath, as they con- 
sidered it; others opposed opening on prudential grounds, 
because they believed it would array many influential per- 
sons against the museums and materially diminish their in- 
comes. Still a third group earnestly advocated the measure. 
President Morris K. Jesup, of the American Museum of 
Natural History, who was seriously opposed to the step, spoke 
for both museums, on October 30, 1885, before the Board of 
Estimate and Apportionment, presenting certain difficulties 
in the way of opening the Museums on Sunday. This speech 
was later issued in pamphlet form and distributed. The 
widely differing opinions of equally earnest, public-spirited 
men may be well appreciated by reading two letters written 
in 1885 by two Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of 
Art. The position of the opponent on purely prudential 
grounds is conveyed in the following sentences: "There is 



but one consideration which it seems necessary to appreciate 
for a reasonable determination of our duty as Trustees. 

"This question is not one of mere policy. Men and 
women have deep-seated opinions on it. All religious ques- 
tions are apt to be viewed with strong feeling. Religion is a 
controlling motive. Thousands of good, accomplished, 
wealthy, influential, learned people will set their faces sternly 
against any institution which opens its exhibitions on Sun- 
day. It is idle to discuss whether they are right or not. It 
is no one else's business whether they are right or not. We 
are simply bound to recognize he fact. I believe that all our 
public educational and charitable institutions derive four- 
fifths of their support from religious people who hold strict 
views about Sunday. Without pressing that proportion, it 
will be admitted by all that our Museum derives a large part 
of its support from such men and women. Also that our 
members and our board of Trustees are divided on the sub- 
ject, very many of them being on principle opposed to 
Sunday exhibitions. 

'The adoption of Sunday exhibitions will therefore divide 
us, and drive from the Museum some at least of its sup- 
porters. It will array a large part of the religious press 
directly against the Museum forever. There is no compro- 
mise with the religious editors and the religious people who 
hold the Sunday strict views. They will regard it as a duty 
to do all in their power to destroy the institution which they 
regard as desecrating Sunday, and exerting an immoral 
influence on the community, and holding such views they are 
right in so doing. It is pure folly to ignore these facts. 

"We now command the hearty undivided support, ist, of 
our own board, who work with perfect unanimity; 2d, of our 
membership; 3d, of the whole mass of the educated, intelli- 
gent people of all religious sentiment. It is suggested by the 
Park Department that we now change our plans, disregard 

240 ' 


the strong religious sentiment of a part of our supporters, 
and array a powerful press and a powerful clergy against us. 
If such a state of affairs existed and such a proposal were 
made to a business corporation, whose Directors were utterly 
irreligious men, caring nothing about Sunday, they would not 
listen to it for a moment. Common sense and ordinary 
business foresight would forbid its consideration." 

The views of an ardent advocate are contained in the 
following letter: "For one 1 am most earnestly in favor of 
immediately trying the experiment of opening both Museums 
on Sunday after i P. M. and I think we shall be false to our 
trust if we do not. 

"First. On religious grounds --in obedience to the com- 
mandment to make the day a day of rest and recreation. To 
many jaded people of the city there can be no more complete 
rest than a quie hour in either Museum. A dull sermon 
cannot compare with it. 

" Second. On moral grounds - - that a counter attraction 
in all respects pure and wholesome may prevail over the cor- 
rupt inducements of places of dissipation, as it certainly will. 

"Third. On prudential grounds --the people are the 
chief support of the Museums, and we expect to live in the 
future as in the past by their bounty. Nothing can in my 
opinion be more shortsighted than to ignore them, to defy 
their wishes, and to deny to them the full enjoyment of the 
Museums which they can never have if they are closed all day 
Sunday. It would serve us exactly right if our stupid 
obstinacy in this matter resulted in the forfeiture of our 
annual public grants. The argument that we should con- 
tinue to keep them closed in deference to the prejudices of 
certain wealthy people who, we hope, may leave us some- 
thing by their wills is in my judgment contemptible. We 
have done that before and the very men on whose account 
our Trustees muzzled themselves died without leaving the 



Museum a dollar. Besides, I don't think we ought to take 
the money of such people on any understanding or expec- 
tation that the public demand for Sunday openings shall be 

"Fourth. To promote the usefulness of the Museums - 
there are hundreds of professional men and mechanics who 
cannot possibly visit the Museums on any day except Sun- 

"Fifth. As a recognition of the principle that the Mu- 
seums in reality belong to, and are meant for the use of, the 

" I think the public demand for this change is greater than 
some of the Trustees appreciate. We have put it off hereto- 
fore upon the plea that it should be done only in response to 
an actual demand from the public and that we now have. 
So that meagre excuse is taken away from us. I have the 
good of these Museums very much at heart, and believe that 
they can be made vastly more useful than they have ever 
been, and opening them on Sunday would be a great step in 
the right direction." 

The Trustees as a body still wavered. The Board of 
Apportionment in 1888 as their next move agreed to grant an 
additional annual appropriation of $10,000 on the condition 
that the Museum open either on Sundays or on two evenings 
weekly. Again the fight was on. But the decision reached 
by the Trustees was to avail themselves of the additional sum 
and to use the loophole of escape by opening Tuesday and 
Saturday evenings, as soon as the electric lights were in 
working order. 

Meantime two museums in other cities had taken the 
decisive step. Both the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and 
the Cincinnati Museum had opened their doors on Sunday, 
and from Cincinnati came a favorable report. 

In 1890 certain aggressive spirits carried the matter to the 



Legislature, where a bill to compel both Museums to open on 
Sunday was introduced, but this was killed in the committee 
before it came up for final action. 

The issue, however, could not be avoided much longer; 
the public persisted in agitating the matter; the concession 
granted them by opening two evenings weekly did not 
appease their ardor; the advocates of Sunday opening con- 
tinued to urge the justice and desirability of their demand. 
May 1 8, 1891 , was the decisive day when the Trustees passed 
a resolution, "That until the further order of .the Board the 
Museum be opened free to the public every Sunday from one 
P. M. until a half hour before sunset." The vote was by no 
means unanimous -- twelve voted for the resolution, five 
against, and one abstained from voting --nor was it taken 
without lengthy consideration. Two carefully prepared, 
comprehensive reports on the subject were read and laid on 
the table. The first, read by the Executive Committee, 
recommended for the Trustees' consideration and action 
that the Museum should abolish pay-days, open on Sundays 
for one year as an experiment, and in return the City should 
be asked to pay the total running expenses, $95,000. The 
second report was read by John Bigelow, by whom the Sun- 
day opening question was viewed as a "centrifugal influence 
sure to provoke controversy, a result from every point of view 
to be deprecated," especially when the financial situation of 
the Museum demanded united effort "to make provision for 
extraordinary expenses." He therefore recommended that 
the subject of opening the Museum on Sunday be laid upon 
the table, whence it could be taken up and acted upon when- 
ever the Trustees should find themselves in a condition to 
discuss it on its merits, and untrammeled by the financial 
exigencies which then controlled their policy. The resolu- 
tion to open on Sunday which was passed later in the after- 
noon was voted on at this juncture and lost. The meeting 



was suspended to receive two delegations interested in the 
issue. The New York World, through their representative, 
George Gary Eggleston, tendered the Museum a check for 
$2,500 "to help defray the expenses of opening the Museum 
on Sundays until the end of the present year." This offer 
was later declined because it was coupled with a condi- 
tion - - to keep the Museum open on Sundays until the end of 
the year --which the Trustees were by no means certain 
they could carry out. A Committee of Citizens had sent as 
their delegation ex-Judge Howland, C. C. Beaman, Rev. 
W. S. Rainsford, and William L. Bull. These gentlemen 
presented a petition signed by thirty thousand citizens, and 
brought news of a subscription of $4,000 already secured to 
help meet the increased expense of Sunday opening. Upon 
the withdrawal of these gentlemen, the resolution on Sunday 
opening was reconsidered and passed. 

To carry this resolution into effect became the duty of the 
Executive Committee, and especially of the Director. All 
the employees of the Museum, including Curators and 
Director, were present at the Museum and actually in the 
galleries every Sunday to answer questions, keep order, and 
protect the collections. Their presence proved absolutely 
indispensable, for, particularly at first, the visitors had little 
conception either of what the Museum contained or of how 
the collections should be used. General Cesnola reported 
that they had evidently derived their idea of a museum of 
art "from the specimens to be seen in Dime Museums on the 
Bowery, and had come here fully expecting to see freaks and 
monstrosities similar to those found there. Many visitors 
took the liberty of handling every object within reach; some 
went to the length of marring, scratching, and breaking 
articles unprotected by glass; a few proved to be pick- 
pockets." These discouraging conditions, however, were 
but temporary. In a very few months the character of the 



visitors changed markedly; they became as a class "respect- 
able, law-abiding, and intelligent." The laboring classes 
were well represented, and the attendance included more 
young people proportionately than on any other day of the 
week. As to numbers, the trial was undoubtedly successful. 
Between May 3ist and November 15, 1891, 150,654 persons 
visited the Museum on Sunday afternoons, about 30% of 
the total attendance from January ist to November i5th 

There was, however, another side to Sunday opening, the 
financial side, which is forcibly put in the Annual Report for 
1891 as follows: "While Sunday opening meets with popu- 
lar approval, the step remains only an experiment. It has 
put burdens on the finances of the Museum which they are 
unable to bear. It has offended some of the Museum's best 
friends and supporters. 1 It has alienated some who have 
given freely of their time and means to the institution. It 
has resulted in the loss of a bequest of fifty thousand dollars. 
It is hoped that this direct and calculable loss will be offset 
by a greater public interest and a more generous support, 
but at present the Museum finds its burdens increased and its 
revenue no larger than before. Eighty thousand persons peti- 
tioned for the Sunday opening, and yet the number of pay- 
ing members has decreased since May 3ist by 225. A very 
serious loss to the collections has already been sustained 
without the slightest compensatory benefit. What was 
represented by the newspapers as a universal demand that the 
Museum be opened on Sunday was accompanied by a popular 
subscription that defrayed the additional expense for only 

1 William C. Prime, than whom scarcely a man was more valuable to 
the Museum, resigned as Vice President and Trustee, because of his prin- 
ciples on Sunday observance. His comrades, after a futile attempt to per- 
suade him to reconsider, were forced to accept his resignation, but they took 
this occasion to show their appreciation of his long leadership by asking 
him to sit for his portrait to Daniel Huntington. 



about four months. The Trustees are far from wishing to 
take a backward step; but unless permanent provision can be 
made for the expense the Museum will have to be closed on 

" In order to settle the question and to place the finances 
of the Museum on a firm basis, the Trustees have proposed to 
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of 
New York that it should appropriate funds sufficient to de- 
fray the entire running expenses of the Museum, in consider- 
ation of the latter being opened free of charge to the public 
every day of the week and on Tuesday and Saturday even- 
ings. There is reason to hope that if appropriate legislation 
can be secured at Albany, the Board of Estimate will act 
favorably on the above proposition when next submitted." 

Such legislation was secured in May, 1892, by an act 
authorizing the Board of Estimate and Apportionment to 
appropriate a sum not to exceed $70,000, in addition to the 
$25,000 already authorized by law, for the maintenance of 
the Museum ($95,000 being the estimate of probable 
expense made by a Committee of the Trustees), provided it 
should be kept open free to the public every day in the year 
and two evenings in every week. 1 The Board of Estimate, 
contrary to this authorization, appropriated but $50,000, 
a sum insufficient in itself and the acceptance of which 
carried with it an agreement to abolish pay days, from 
which change a considerable loss of income must be antici- 
pated both in dues of annual members and in admission 
fees. 2 Since the Board of Estimate failed to appropriate the 
full amount, although they did later increase the appropria- 
tion to $70,000, an appeal was made to the Legislature to 
amend the former act so as to permit the continuance of the 

1 For act, see Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, page 51. 

2 The Treasurer's books show no receipts from admission fees from 
January, 1893, through April, 1893, which would seem sufficient evidence 
that for four months pay days were actually abolished. 



two pay days. 1 With this amendment the whole matter 
ended. Sunday opening had come to stay; the Sunday 
attendance from 1891 to the present has proved by far the 
largest of the week. The average number of visitors on 
Sunday is over 5,000. 

Certainly Sunday opening may be considered as one 
phase of the Museum's educational work. Though no 
instructor teaches and no lecturer talks, the collections 
themselves exert a silent influence that is broadly educational 
to the visitors, many of whom cannot come under their spell 
on other days. 

The more direct educational work of the Art Schools con- 
tinued for several years longer. In 1887 the classes were 
conducted in new quarters, this time at the northeast corner 
of Third Avenue and Forty-ninth Street in two large rooms, 
50 by 1 20 feet, which had been subdivided to meet the needs 
of the different classes. To the curriculum was added a Life 
Class. The plan for some years had been to remove the 
schools to the basement of the Museum itself just as soon as 
possible after the completion of the new wing. This was 
advocated both for economy and for convenience; the rental 
would be saved, and the collections would be immediately 
accessible to the pupils. With the Art Schools as with the 
Museum itself, financial problems had always been perplex- 
ing. Although to Mr. Reed's $50,000 had been added in 
1887 an Endowment Fund of $30,000 by Henry G. Mar- 
quand, whose benefactions extended to so many and such 
varied activities of the Museum, yet it always remained 
a difficult matter for the Art Schools to make income meet 
expenditure. On October i , 1889, the last change of location 
was accomplished, and the Art Schools were finally under the 
parental roof. But neither in light nor in healthfulness were 

1 For amendment, see Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, 
page 54. 



the new rooms satisfactory; on the contrary, they soon proved 
utterly unsuitable and inadequate. 

From the list of studies at this time, it would seem that the 
schools had gradually assumed a new character. Whereas 
industrial art had earlier been raised to the place of impor- 
tance and the artist-artisans had been the class the schools 
sought to reach, now the studies taught were those included 
in the typical art school, such as the Art Students' League. 
For instance, in 1890 the curriculum embraced preparatory, 
antique, life, and still life classes and classes in architecture, 
ornamental design, illustration, and sculpture. 

Upon the death in March, 1892, of Arthur L. Tuckerman, 
for five years Director of the Art Schools, a change in 
administration became necessary and a reorganization 
seemed desirable. The schools had ceased to have any 
vital relation to the Museum itself; but slight use of the 
collections as teaching material was made; the major part of 
the income was exhausted by large elementary classes in 
drawing and painting, for teaching which the Museum had 
surely no greater advantages than many a school in the city. 
In the gradual evolution of the schools such classes had 
usurped the place of more advanced classes for whose work 
the Museum collections would be of unquestioned value. 
The School Committee of the Trustees, arguing that they 
were under no obligations to teach elementary drawing and 
painting any more than the Trustees of the Astor Library 
were to teach reading and writing, strongly advocated drop- 
ping the elementary classes and creating classes for the study 
of the Museum itself, the only study for which the Trustees 
were responsible and for which they alone were responsible. 
In the words of the resolution passed May 16, 1892, the Trus- 
tees recognized that it was " their main office in the matter of 
education to make the Museum itself intelligible and in- 
structive," and they approved "the organization in the 



schools of the Museum of special classes for the study of 
special kinds of objects, and of the employment from time to 
time of experts in the different matters illustrated in these 
collections, to give public lectures upon them." This pro- 
gram was not carried out fully until the spring of 1894, when 
the elementary classes, which could not be made self-support- 
ing, were discontinued in the interest of advanced work con- 
nected with the study of the collections themselves. The 
instruction in architecture had earlier been brought into line 
with this new policy by restricting it wholly to the systematic 
study of the Willard Collection of Casts. 

This crisis in the Art Schools came about partly in conse- 
quence of a munificent offer of a special fund of $24,000 to 
provide a Traveling Scholarship for the Study of Mural 
Painting, to be awarded to a male student in Painting in 
the schools of the Museum. This gift came from Mrs. 
Amelia B. Lazarus and her daughter, Miss Emilie Lazarus, 
who wished thus to erect a memorial to Jacob H. Lazarus, 
who was an artist and a student of Henry Inman. The 
scholarship was to be known as The Jacob H. Lazarus Travel- 
ing Scholarship. The difficulty connected with the accep- 
tance of this gift came through the fact that the classes 
already existing in the Museum Schools were not sufficiently 
advanced to provide candidates qualified to compete for such 
a scholarship. 

The special committee appointed to consider this offer 
reported that it would be "practicable to establish a class of 
advanced students eminently worthy of such a benefaction," 
and such a class would draw prize pupils from many schools 
and furnish a sort of post-graduate course for a serious study 
of the Museum collections, paintings, drawings, casts, and 
other works. At the end of the course, which should occupy 
two seasons, all who so desired should become candidates 
for the Jacob H. Lazarus Scholarship. This should be 



awarded to the man presenting the best painting upon an 
assigned subject. This plan was carried out; John La Farge, 
considered by all preeminently the man to undertake the 
work, was placed in charge of the class. About twenty per- 
sons were enrolled, a number of them prize-students from 
The National Academy of Design, The Art Students' 
League, and schools of art in Buffalo, Detroit, and Chicago. 
Throughout the world of art, this class was looked upon as 
"the crown and culminating point of artistic education in 
this country," as Professor William R. Ware, Chairman of 
the Committee on Schools, wrote to Mrs. Lazarus. Al- 
though in another year all classes in the Art Schools were 
given up, the Lazarus Scholarship remains as a permanent 
reminder of the decade and a half when there were Museum 
Art Schools. The first recipient of the scholarship was 
George W. Breck, who was appointed in 1896. Since the 
closing of the Museum School, the scholarship has been 
administered by a committee of artists in cooperation with 
the Trustees of the Museum. 

Another educational factor, cooperation with Columbia 
University, which was effected in 1892, may possibly have 
been an indirect result of the Museum experiment in 
maintaining Art Schools. For this helpful relationship the 
Museum was greatly indebted to Augustus C. Merriam, 
Professor of Greek Archaeology, and President Seth Low. 
Of the latter Professor Merriam wrote in a letter to General 
Cesnola on October 22, 1891, "He (President Low) is very 
much in earnest to see some connection of mutual helpfulness 
brought about between the Museum and Columbia Univer- 
sity, and it was at his request that 1 held the conversation 
with you about it." The Museum readily agreed to a plan 
of cooperation which may be briefly summarized as follows: 
Columbia should grant to students in the Museum Art 
Schools free admission to certain courses on art given at the 



University, and should furnish speakers for a course of public 
lectures on art to be given at the Museum. The Museum 
for its part should grant to students in the University every 
opportunity on the two pay days for copying or sketching 
at the Museum, or for lectures delivered before the objects 
themselves, and should provide a room capable of seating five 
hundred persons, with lantern and slides for the public 

Under this happy arrangement lectures that proved so 
popular as to tax the capacity of the hall were given on Satur- 
day mornings during about three months of each year until 
the winter of 1900-1901. The New York public was thus 
enabled to hear such distinguished authorities in different 
branches of art as Russell Sturgis, President of the Archi- 
tectural League, Dr. A. C. Merriam and Professor A. D. T. 
Hamlin of Columbia, Professor John C. Van Dyke of Rutgers, 
Rev. William Hayes Ward, the distinguished Orientalist, and 
Louis Pagan, for twenty-seven years Keeper of Prints in the 
British Museum. 

Earlier than this arrangement, lectures had been given, as 
hitherto, for the Art School pupils, and occasionally a public 
lecture was held under Museum auspices. Eighteen hun- 
dred and ninety was a record year for lectures. Alexander 
S. Murray, Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the 
British Museum, visited New York in May by special invita- 
tion and delivered three notable lectures on Ancient Greek 
Art; Louis Fagan, of the same museum, who was in America, 
was engaged to deliver two lectures, one on wood-engraving, 
the other on etching, which "were highly appreciated by 
large audiences." 

To one constitutional amendment of this period - - the 
creation of the office of Honorary President for Life - - refer- 
ence has already been made. Other important changes were 
made in 1892. The officers, who had been elected hitherto 



by the Annual Meeting, were now to be elected by the Trus- 
tees from the Life Members. Extensive changes in the 
classes of membership were made, to fit new conditions. 
With the increase of wealth in the hands of individuals, 
much larger sums of money were given or bequeathed to 
the Museum than had been possible forty years before. 
Accordingly, a new class of members, called Benefactors, was 
established, to which those should be eligible who had given 
or bequeathed $50,000; the Patrons and Fellows in Perpetuity 
were made one class and the sum required to enter this class 
was raised to $5,000 from $1,000 and $500 respectively; the 
Fellows for Life should now contribute $1,000. 

With the Willard and Marquand Collections of casts as a 
nucleus, the extension of the cast collection to practically its 
present size was accomplished during the years 1891-1895. 
For this purpose, at the initiative of Robert W. de Forest, 
a Special Committee on Casts was appointed, with power 
both to raise the necessary funds and to select and purchase 
the casts. This committee, consisting of Henry G. Mar- 
quand, Chairman, Robert W. de Forest, Vice Chairman, 
Edward D.Adams, Howard Mansfield, George F. Baker, John 
S. Kennedy, Pierre Le Brun, Allan Marquand, Augustus C. 
Merriam, Francis D. Millet, Frederick W. Rhinelander, 
Augustus St. Gaudens, Louis C. Tiffany, John Q. A. Ward, 
William R. Ware, and Stanford White, took as its avowed 
purpose, " to obtain a complete collection of casts, historically 
arranged, so as to illustrate the progress and development of 
plastic art in all epochs, and mainly in those which have 
influenced our own civilization. " Money was raised by sub- 
scription to the amount of nearly $60,000, and Edward Rob- 
inson, then Curator of Classical Antiquities in the Museum 
of Fine Arts in Boston, was appointed purchasing agent. 
"While the labors of this committee were in progress, the 
Museum received two bequests which were of especial bene- 



fit to the collection. The first was that of George W. Cul- 
lum, who died in February, 1892, leaving it a fund [$20,000] 
'with which to furnish casts of famous statuary and works 
of architecture, to be known as the Cullum Collection.' The 
second was a legacy from John Taylor Johnston, to which 
was added a large subscription made by him before his death 
in 1893, for the work of the special committee, and a further 
sum contributed by his children, in order to make the total thus 
given [$25,000] sufficient to pay for all the casts of the Italian 
Renaissance period ordered under the direction of the 
Committee, and to provide for the maintenance and growth 
of this branch of the collection, upon the understanding that 
it should be known as the John Taylor Johnston Collection. 

"Another valuable contribution to the undertaking of the 
same committee was the gift of its treasurer, Edward D. 
Adams, of a complete series of reproductions, in bronze, of 
the bronze sculptures found in the villa at Herculaneum 
. . ., the originals of which are now in the Museum of 
Naples." 1 

It is interesting to note that of the gentlemen who were 
enlisted in this undertaking and who at the time had no 
official relation to the Museum, Mr. Robinson has since 
become Director and four, Messrs. Adams, Baker, Mans- 
field, and Millet, later became Trustees. 

In many different directions the collections were growing 
during these years, largely by gift and bequest, since the 
funds of the Museum were insufficient for large purchases. 
Henry G. Marquand continued his benefactions to the 
Museum in many lines. Renaissance metalwork, porcelain, 
and manuscripts were included in his gifts; but most impor- 
tant of all was the presentation of his collection of 35 paint- 
ings, mostly Old Masters, which had been on exhibition as a 
loan. This valuable gift was made in a modest manner with 
1 Catalogue of the Collection of Casts, page viii. 



no conditions attached, only the expressed wish that, so far 
as practicable, the paintings might be kept together. Among 
these are some of the best known and most esteemed treas- 
ures of the Museum paintings, including Van Dyck's James 
Stuart, a Rembrandt Portrait of a Man, and Vermeer's 
Young Woman at a Casement. The Museum has been glad 
in recent years to call one gallery The Marquand Gallery. 
There have been placed some of these 35 paintings with 
other pictures regarded as masterpieces. 

Upon the death of Joseph W. Drexel, an honored Trustee 
and Patron, Mrs. Lucy W. Drexel, in furtherance of what she 
believed to have been her husband's wishes, gave to the 
Museum six distinct collections that during Mr. Drexel's 
lifetime had been lent to the Museum. These collections, 
covering a wide field, consisted of Egyptian antiquities, coins, 
ancient musical instruments, Arabic carved wood, en- 
graved gems, and books and manuscripts. In addition 
to this generous disposition of her husband's possessions, 
Mrs. Drexel presented at the same time her own treas- 
ures of gold and silver, including watches, enamels, and 

A much larger collection of musical instruments, about 
270, was received the following month, February, 1889, from 
Mrs. John Crosby Brown. These, chiefly from Oriental 
nations and savage tribes, with a few from Europe, were 
classified and catalogued by her son, William Adams 
Brown. In her letter presenting this interesting collection, 
Mrs. Brown asked to have access to the collection for pur- 
poses of study during her lifetime and that of her son, and 
to be permitted both to exchange inferior examples for those 
of greater worth and to add to the collection. These privi- 
leges were gladly granted and have been used ever since 
to the great advantage of the Museum. The collection now 
numbers over 3,600 examples and fills five galleries. It is 



quite the equal of any European collection and in regard to 
installation ranks first. 

A bequest by Edward C. Moore of the firm of Messrs. 
Tiffany & Co. of what has since been called The Edward C. 
Moore Collection was received in 1891 through the kindness of 
the family. Mr. Moore's will bequeathed all his collection to 
"such well established and incorporated museum or similar 
institution" as his executors appointed, and they chose The 
Metropolitan Museum. One condition was attached to the 
bequest, that the objects should be kept together and 
preserved as a separate collection. The description of this 
valued collection may well be given in the words of the 
Annual Report for that year, " Mr. Moore was a most 
intelligent collector and gathered round him examples of 
excellence and beauty from both ancient and modern art. 
Directed intuitively to what was of genuine worth, as well as 
by correct and cultivated taste in selection, he acquired from 
various parts of the world rare and remarkable treasures in 
great numbers. The collection includes antique Greek, 
Roman, and Etruscan vases; Tanagra groups and figurines; 
glass, jewelry, porcelain, metalwork, and other objects of 
art, together with a reference library of many hundred 
valuable illustrated works." 

The Library collection of manuscripts and incunabula, of 
which the nucleus came through the gift of Mrs. Lucy Drexel, 
was enriched this same year by an illuminated manuscript of 
Saint Augustine's De Civitate Dei, in three volumes, 
received from Miss Mary LeRoy King. 

Two valuable accessions of ceramics belong to this period: 
a well-selected collection of Japanese pottery and porcelain, 
the gift of Charles Stewart Smith, and one including both 
Japanese and Chinese pottery presented by Mr. and Mrs. 
Samuel Colman. 

In 1893 the Museum came into the possession of a col- 



lection, consisting of tapestries, vases, statuary, and paint- 
ings, and a fund of $20,000, received by legacy from Mrs. 
Elizabeth U. Coles. 

In 1892 Cyrus W. Field, who had been a Patron of the 
Museum since 1876, showed his interest in its success and 
confidence in its management by presenting to the Museum 
his collection of objects associated with the laying of the 
Atlantic Cable, including medals and other testimonials in 
his honor, a series of paintings illustrative of the work of lay- 
ing the cable, and specimens showing the process of cable 
construction. In this connection we might recall what has 
been noted in Chapter II, Mr. Field's interest in the pur- 
chase of the Cesnola Collection. General Cesnola, in a 
letter to Mrs. Isabelle Field Judson, wrote: " It was through 
your father that my collection became the property of The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was he who introduced 
me to Mr. Gladstone, Earl Granville, Mr. .Adams, then 
United States minister in London; also to the Dean of 
Westminster and Lady Augusta Stanley, and to many other 
of his English friends. He invited a large party to meet 
me at dinner, and also brought many to see my Cypriote 
Collection. I doubt if, without the great personal interest 
shown by your father, it would ever have become the pro- 
perty of The Metropolitan Museum; because it was only 
after this that the London press went wild over securing it for 

" I have said, and shall always say, that it is chiefly, if not 
wholly, due to Cyrus W. Field that my discoveries are in this 
city today." 

Before turning to the next period with its enlarged build- 
ing and increased facilities, we might pause one moment to 
put on record an almost forgotten chapter of the history of 
New York. In 1889 the possibility of a much greater build- 
ing loomed before the Trustees, a sort of mirage that lured 



them on, only to vanish the following year. It happened on 
this wise. New York hoped, and even expected to be chosen 
as the location of a World's Columbian Exposition, to be 
held in 1892, the exposition which we know as the Chicago 
World's Fair of 1893. To New Yorkers no other place 
except their own city seemed worth considering for a mo- 
ment, and accordingly the mayor, Honorable Hugh J. Grant, 
appointed committees for all the preliminary work of an 
exposition, among others a Committee on Site and Buildings. 
This body investigated sites many, each of which had its 
ardent advocates and equally ardent opponents, and finally 
recommended "that the site be selected from the lands 
between ninety-seventh and one hundred and twenty- 
seventh streets, Fourth Avenue, and the North River, com- 
prising Morningside and Riverside Parks and the inter- 
mediate lands, Central Park north of the large reservoir, 
and the lands adjacent to that part of Central Park." But 
their troubles were by no means past; their suggestion of 
using the northern part of Central Park aroused bitter 
opposition, as it necessitated the repealing of an act passed in 
1 88 1, which forbade the use of Central Park for any such 
purpose, and was contrary to the sentiment of many people. 

The attention of the Committee on Site and Buildings was 
called to another possibility, the use of Manhattan Square 
and the Art Museum grounds instead of the upper part of 
the park. The advantages of this plan are set forth with 
elaborate detail in a printed letter dated October i , 1889, and 
addressed to Mayor Grant. From this we quote: "Man- 
hattan Square lies outside of the Park limits proper, and the 
Art Museum is so located that the plan proposed cannot 
injure the Park. Besides, it has been for many years the 
settled purpose of the City to complete the buildings now 
commenced there. 

" If the City should spend, say $5,000,000 on the two 



Museum Buildings and give their use, it would be, for the 
purposes of the Exposition, almost equivalent to a subscrip- 
tion by the City of that amount of money; while to the City, 
it would only be anticipating an expenditure already con- 
templated and which will probably be made, in any event, 
within about ten years. . . . 

" But this expenditure .... would bring a large 
return to the City besides assisting the Exposition. The 
holding of a part of the Exposition in these buildings would 
result in many donations to the City of articles and collec- 
tions, which would be sent for exhibition and allowed to 
remain. This was the case in Philadelphia in 1876. 

'The existence of the buildings ready to receive col- 
lections would continue to be a strong incentive to persons to 
make further gifts and bequests. 

"Another and great advantage would be that the Expo- 
sition would have from its start the valuable aid and assis- 
tance of the Officers of these Institutions. . . . 

"The Art Museum and Museum of Natural History 
grounds could be connected by a railroad through the 
transverse road at 79th Street, so that visitors could be con- 
veyed from inside one inclosure to the other by continuous 
passage in about two minutes, the distance being a little over 
half a mile. A railroad could be also built for conveying 
visitors by continuous passage from within the grounds of the 
Museum of Natural History to within the Main Exhibition 
grounds at i roth Street in less than five minutes, the distance 
being one and a half miles. 

'This separation of the Exposition grounds and buildings 
into different parts would greatly facilitate the transpor- 
tation of visitors to and from the Exposition and thus help to 
solve one of its most difficult problems. 

"By this plan one principal entrance would be at about 
Seventy-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, another at Seventy- 



seventh Street and Ninth Avenue, and another at One Hun- 
dred and Tenth Street, and still another at One Hundred and 
Twenty-second Street." 

The Committee on Site and Buildings put themselves on 
record as not averse to this scheme, and asked for a con- 
ference. The Trustees, acting judicially, coupled the 
appointment of the desired committee for consultation with a 
resolution, "That the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum 
of Art have great interest in the proposed Exposition of 1892 
in the City of New York, and desire as far as may be in their 
power, to aid the successful carrying out of the project con- 
sistently with their duties and the interest of this Institu- 
tion." The joint committee representing the two museums 
and the International Exposition met several times and 
finally, as General Cesnola wrote in a memorandum, "died 
of natural death." 

The Exposition itself, on the contrary, suffered a violent 
death, for Congress was so unreasonable as to ignore the 
claims of Father Knickerbocker and to listen to those of 



1895 - - 1905 



1895 - - 1905 

ON November 5, 1894, came the Museum's third 
opening in the Park, when the new North Wing 
was delivered to the Trustees with fitting cere- 
monies. For this extension the first architect was Arthur L. 
Tuckerman, who was personally interested in the building 
through his position as Principal of the Art Schools, as well as 
through his earlier association with Theodore Weston, the 
architect of the South Wing, in preparing the plans for both 
the south and the north wing. His own application gives 
briefly his qualifications, " I myself drew the bulk of the filed 
plans and know the building and all its needs so thoroughly 
that there is scarcely a measurement I cannot recollect or a 
moulding or a stone. In fact, I have devoted five years to the 
study of the requirements of the building." Upon Mr. 
Tuckerman's sad death in the prime of life abroad, where he 
had gone in quest of health, the work was placed in the 
hands of Joseph Wolf. It is fitting to copy here a portion 
of the resolution of the Trustees when they learned of Mr. 
Tuckerman's death, "By his exceptional kindliness of disposi- 
tion and habitual courtesy of manner (he) had won for him- 
self the sincere regard of teachers and scholars alike. We 
hereby record our appreciation of his untiring devotion to all 
the interests of the institution committed to his charge until 



obliged unwillingly to abandon his work in obedience to 
the peremptory orders of his Physician." 

These successive openings read much alike, for such occa- 
sions naturally follow a stereotyped plan with music, prayer, 
and speeches. This one, according to the New York Times, 1 
was unfortunate in two respects: it was a stormy day evi- 
dently the weather man has never favored art even from the 
" inclement " evening of Samuel F. B. Morse's first lecture on 
art in 1826 to the present day; it was also the day before elec- 
tion, and "the interests of all active-minded people (even of 
the female sex)" were "largely absorbed by the election." 
Prayer was offered by His Grace, Archbishop Corrigan; the 
New Wing was delivered to the Trustees by Hon. George C. 
Clausen, President of the Department of Public Parks, ac- 
cepted for the Trustees by Henry G. Marquand, President of 
the Museum, and declared open by Hon. Ashbel P. Fitch, 
Comptroller of the City, in the place of the Mayor. 

The Trustees were especially eager to make this occasion 
memorable. For one thing, the invitations were designed 
and engraved by Edwin Davis French, whose excellent work 
is represented also in the Museum Library book-plates. For 
another, a banquet at The Waldorf formed a pleasant close to 
the day. On this occasion fifty-five guests sat down at the 
table. Hon. Joseph H. Choate presided, introducing the 
following speakers: Henry G. Marquand, Bishop Henry 
C. Potter, Archbishop Corrigan, Hon. Seth Low, Professor 
William M. Sloane of Princeton University, Dr. William 
C. Prime, Professor John F. Weir, General Cesnola, Charles 
Dudley Warner, Parke Godwin, General Horace Porter, and 
Hon. Chauncey M. Depew. 2 

Now that the Trustees had increased spaceattheirdisposal, 
they resumed their policy of holding loan exhibitions by plan- 

N. Y. Times, Nov. 6, 1894. 

These names are taken from the N. Y. Herald of Nov. 5, 1894. 



ning at once forsuchanexhibition of paintings and miniatures 
"illustrative of early American art" and "representing men 
and women of distinction in the early social, military, naval, 
and political history of our country,embracing the time imme- 
diately preceding the Declaration of Independence, and for 
fifty years thereafter." This exhibition, declared to be "be- 
yond comparison the most comprehensive and representative 
collection of its kind ever brought together," was opened in 
the fall of 1895. The catalogue, which contained entries of 


1 40 oil paintings and 21 miniatures, continued in demand 
both here and abroad after the exhibition closed. 

A second loan exhibition of paintings was held from May 28 
to October 15, 1900. This, a memorial exhibition of the 
works of Frederic E. Church, N. A., a member of the Mu- 
seum's original Board of Trustees, was held at the earnest 
wish of several friends of the artist. The catalogue, more 
elaborate in form than the usual Museum publication, con- 
tained an introduction written by Charles Dudley Warner, 
a portrait of the artist, and fourteen full-page half-tone illus- 
trations of his paintings. 

The work of both of these exhibitions devolved largely 



upon George H. Story, who became Curator of Paintings in 
1889 and continued in that position until 1906, when he asked 
to be relieved from his duties, and was honored with the posi- 
tion of Curator Emeritus, which he continues to hold. 

Two other uses for the increased space now available were 
as a bicycle-room, where cyclists during their visits might 
find safe storage for their wheels, and a moulding department, 
where casts of the statuary might be made. The need for a 
moulding atelier had been felt for several years, both for 
convenience and as a source of income. In 1893 a special 
committee appointed to consider the question reported in 
favor of establishing such a department as soon as 
space could be secured for its installation. A few 
moulds were obtained and work commenced on a small scale, 
awaiting the opportunity to establish a permanent atelier 
adequate to the demands made upon the Museum by colleges, 
art schools, libraries, and other museums. Although this 
department was never fully established and no longer exists, 
several orders were satisfactorily filled. Casts of the forty 
slabs of the Parthenon frieze and of the Venus of Melos were 
made during 1898; during the following year a cast of the 
altarpiece by Luca della Robbia, which was the gift of Mr. 
Marquand, and one of George Grey Barnard's Two Natures 
were sent to Archbishop Corrigan and the Chicago Art 
Institute respectively. 

The next decade might well be termed an era of prosper- 
ity. There were no great crises to face, no great problems 
to solve. There was, indeed, the constant strain occa- 
sioned by an income insufficient to allow of wise pur- 
chases, but the course of events was singularly quiet and 
undisturbed. That the confidence of the community was 
with the Museum was evinced by the frequency with which 
gifts great and small were committed to the care of the 
Trustees. Some they must thankfully decline, for example, 



"a collection representing monkeys in various materials," 
but many they might with equal thankfulness accept. 
Illustrative of some of the absurd offers that reached the 
Museum in those days is one spoken of in the following 
paragraph from the New York Herald of March 3, 1897. 
"A New York woman wrote to the director of The Met- 
ropolitan Museum of Art the other day saying that she 
owned a treasure which she would like to sell at once, for 
she was hard up. This treasure, she said, was a painting 
of Saint Michael slaying the dragon. It was very old, but 
fairly well preserved. Her great grandfather had dug it out 
of the ruins of Herculaneum. The director replied, saying 
that if the facts were as set forth the lady had a treasure of 
priceless value. It was worth millions, if it was worth a cent. 
'Herculaneum,' said he, 'has been lying under the lava of 
Vesuvius for 2,000 years. That the canvas should have 
escaped destruction when the mountain poured forth its fiery 
contents on the towns at its base is indeed remarkable. That 
it has further resisted the disintegrating hand of time is no 
less remarkable. That the artist should have shown a spirit 
of prophecy and delineated an incident of the Christian 
religion long before it happened is more than remarkable. 
It is miraculous. You should keep the Saint Michael.' 
In answer to this the woman wrote again, saying: ' If the 
picture is really so valuable, I don't see why you won't 
take it at $500.'" 

To record worthily all the gifts and bequests of note be- 
comes increasingly difficult. It is desirable, however, to give 
brief space to a few prominent additions. For example, the 
bulk of the present exhibition of arms and armor was ac- 
quired by the gift of the Ellis Collection and the purchase 
of the Dino Collection. The former, consisting of 166 
pieces and two tapestries, brought together by John S. 
Ellis, of Ellislea, Westchester, was received after his death 



in 1896 through the generosity of Mrs. Ellis and her son, A. 
Van Home Ellis, and in the name of John S. Ellis. The latter 
collection, which "may safely be regarded as the most valua- 
ble gathering of arms and armor in America," was purchased 
in 1904 from the owner, Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, 
Due de Dino, a well-known connoisseur on arms and armor, 
through the advice and initiative of Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 
one of the Founders of the Museum, as well as one of the 
earliest collectors of armor in the country. 

The name of George A. Hearn begins to appear frequently 
on the pages of the Annual Reports through virtue of his 
gifts and loans to the Department of Paintings. J. Pierpont 
Morgan, also, has begun his princely giving to the Museum, 
of which he was at this time a Trustee. In 1900 he offered 
as a gift a collection of classical Greek objects in gold and 
three paintings. Samuel P. Avery continued his benefactions 
along many lines and Mrs. S. P. Avery in 1897 presented to 
the Museum 289 old silver spoons collected during the years 
1 867- 1 890. 

By bequest from Joseph H. Durkee came an interesting 
collection of about 8,000 ancient coins, Roman, Arabic, East 
Indian, and Chinese, in gold, silver, copper, and other mate- 
rials. Other bequests of note were those of R. G. Dun, Os- 
good Field, and Henry Villard. The first, made in 1900, 
gave to the Museum all or any part of Mr. Dun's collection 
of pictures that the Trustees might select. By this bequest 
there reverted to the Museum upon the death of Mrs. Dun 
in 1911 five pictures of importance belonging to the modern 
French school. The second, that of Osgood Field, gave to 
the Museum a varied list of works of art, which he termed 
bric-a-brac. As some of these were not suitable for the Mu- 
seum, the bequest was declined. Thereupon Mr. Field's 
nephew, William B. Osgood Field, generously offered to 
present to the Museum, in his uncle's name, such part of the 



collection as the Trustees could accept. Upon these terms 
the Trustees gladly received the bequest, which contained a 
number of Italian majolica vases of great value, as well as 
a collection of the faience of Asia Minor and Persia. The 
bequest of Henry Villard was $5,000 in money, a gift over 
which no question of acceptance ever arises. 

One of the earlier bequests to the Museum was $5,000 
given by William Earl Dodge in 1883 and employed as a 
fund for purchasing works of art. Fifteen years later 
William E. Dodge, the son, who served as a Trustee contin- 
uously for over a quarter of a century, and was its first vice- 
president at the time of his death in 1903, contributed 
$20,000 as a supplement to this gift, on the understanding 
that the entire income should be used to buy objects of art. 

A pleasurable unexpectedness characterized the largest be- 
quest the Museum ever received. In 1883 Jacob S. Rogers 
became an Annual Member, and continued such until his 
death in 1901 . Each year he paid his $10, usually in person, 
and one year he received upon request a copy of the Museum 
charter, constitution, lease, and by-laws. When after Mr. 
Rogers' death in 1901 his will was made public, it appeared 
that the Museum had been made the residuary legatee of an 
estate estimated from $5,500,000 to $7,ooo,ooo,on the follow- 
ing terms: "The income only of the fund hereby created, or 
intended so to be, to be used for the purchase of rare and 
desirable art objects, and in the purchase of books for the 
Library of said Museum, and for such purposes exclusively; 
the principal of said fund is not to be used, diminished, or 
impaired for any purpose whatever." The Trustees were 
surprised and almost overwhelmed to have at last what for a 
long time they had been asking for, a large fund for the pur- 
chase of objects of art. Such a bequest spelled opportunity. 
It was like an emancipation proclamation, striking off 
the shackles of a strict economy which had hampered 



every movement up to this time. In the words of William 
E. Dodge, "The wonderful will of Jacob Rogers with its 
splendid possibilities for the Museum has astonished us all 
greatly. It seems like a golden dream." J. Edwards Clarke 
of the National Bureau of Education in his congratulations 
to General Cesnola voiced the feeling of many friends of 
the institution, "It is an event on which the whole United 
States are to be congratulated; for it gives pecuniary inde- 
pendence to the chief art power of the country. What the 
Trustees and officers of the Museum have already accom- 
plished is like a fairy tale in its splendor. The opportunities 
that now open before them are simply bewildering." 

Such great resources were not contemplated when the Con- 
stitution of 1870 was adopted nor was provision made for 
them in the successive amendments to that constitution. 
The elective committees did not include a Finance Committee. 
In lieu of this the Executive Committee had appointed from 
its membership a sub-committee to perform the duties natu- 
rally devolving upon a Finance Committee. In 1902 there 
was added to the committees annually elected by the Trustees 
from their own number, a Finance Committee to have charge 
of the real estate, moneys, and securities of the endowment 
and all other permanent funds of the Museum, with authority 
to invest and re-invest them. They were to deposit the 
securities in a Trust Company or Safe Deposit Company 
approved by the Executive Committee, receive the income, 
pay the same to the Treasurer, and report annually to the 
Trustees. Thus the machinery was made ready for the 
custody and use of a large fund. 

Fortunately there existed no legal barrier to the acceptance 
of a bequest that carried with it the holding and sale of real 
estate. A few years before, when the fact was brought to the 
attention of the Trustees that the charter might not give them 
such rights, they had secured the passage of an act amend- 



ing the charter in this particular. This act, passed March 
4, 1898, enabled the corporation to "take and hold by gift, 
devise, bequest, purchase, or lease, either absolutely or in 
trust, for any purpose comprised in the objects of the corpor- 
ation, any real or personal property necessary or proper for 
the purposes of its incorporation." 

Two of the most interesting accessions bought during 1903 
with the income of the Rogers Fund are the Boscoreale 
frescoes, taken from a villa in Boscoreale, a village on the 
southern slope of Vesuvius that shared the fate of Pompeii, 
and the Etruscan bronze biga of the sixth century B. C, 
which was discovered in fragments in a tomb on a hillside 
near Monteleone di Spoleto, in Umbria. 

On April 21, 1902, Heber R. Bishop entered into an agree- 
ment with the Museum, of which he was a Trustee, to transfer 
to its possession and keeping his extensive collection of jade, 
which was displayed in the ball room of his residence, and to 
give $5 5,000 in bonds for the construction of a room for the 
exhibition of this collection. This room should be in sub- 
stance a replica of the interior of his ball room. The under- 
standing was that the collection should be displayed as a 
unit, and no other objects except those added by the family 
be placed in the room. To Carrere and Hastings was in- 
trusted the work of carrying out Mr. Bishop's plans in one ot 
the rooms of the new East Wing. This was, then, the first 
instance in this Museum of a donor's planning and con- 
structing the room which should house his treasure. 

Upon Mr. Bishop's death, December 10, 1902, his will was 
found to contain a codicil, providing for payment of such addi- 
tional sums as might be necessary for the construction and 
equipment of the Bishop Room. In it he also directed his 
executors to continue the preparation of the catalogue of his 
collection, a work on which he had been engaged for many 
years, and to present the edition to the principal museums 



and libraries of all nations. "During Mr. Bishop's last trip 
to Japan and China in 1892, while in the latter country he 
met that great admirer of Japan, Sir Edwin Arnold, and it 
was at his suggestion that . . . George Frederick Kunz, 
Ph. D., was invited to take charge of the scientific part of 
the book. Upon Mr. Bishop's arrival in New York, a confer- 
ence was held and an outline of the work planned, cover- 
ing a most thorough investigation of the subject of jade. 
. . . Neither care nor expense was spared in carrying on 
the work; some thirty scientists and specialists, both in 
Europe and America, were engaged to contribute their views 
upon aspects of the subject; the illustrations were prepared 
in the best possible manner, Chinese and Japanese artists 
being employed to execute many of them, and color experts 
were freely consulted under the supervision of Mr. Bishop. 
The plan of the whole work, in its every detail, was carefully 
thought out by him, from its inception in 1886 when he pur- 
chased his first piece of jade . . . until the final distri- 
bution of the volumes." 1 

The year 1902 also marked the loan by George W. Van- 
derbilt of the valuable collection of 135 modern paintings 
made by his father, William H. Vanderbilt, a collection by 
European artists, generally of the last half of the nineteenth 
century, which contains works by Corot, Troyon, Diaz, 
Rousseau, Dupre, and Millet, including Millet's Sower and 
Water Carrier. This generous loan was offered through 
Samuel P. Avery, who had helped Mr. Vanderbilt in se- 
curing so rich a collection and in turn helped the Museum 
to secure it as a loan. 

From 1893 until 1901, the annual maintenance appropria- 
tion which the city was authorized to make stood at 
$95,000. Then by an act of the legislature it was raised on 

1 Occasional Notes, No. II. Supplement to the Bulletin, May, 
MCMVI, p. 2. , 





March yth to $150,000, at which figure it stood until April 
27, 1906, when by another act it was increased to $200,000, 
the amount received for maintenance at the present time. 

These successive additions to the appropriation have been 
occasioned by the increased needs of an enlarged and re- 
peatedly enlarging plant. Before 1905, which has seemed a 
reasonable date with which to close this chapter, because it 
marks a clearly-defined change in administration, the third 
wing, known as the East Wing, had been constructed and 
occupied. The proper action to secure an appropriation of 
$1,000,000 for building this wing was taken in 1895, the act 
becoming a law on April iSth. 1 To Richard Morris Hunt, 
an efficient Trustee of the Museum from its incorporation, was 
intrusted not merely the plan for this new extension but the 
work of laying out the general scheme that all future addi- 
tions should follow until the entire area set aside for the use 
of the Museum by the enabling act of April 5, 1871, should 
be covered and the original brick building be completely sur- 
rounded with connecting buildings. Mr. Hunt's lamented 
death occasioned the need for the appointment of a new 
architect. The choice rested upon Richard Howland Hunt, 
the son, who had often talked over the problems of construc- 
tion with his father and so could give a continuity to the 
work that no other architect could have given. George B. 
Post accepted the place of consulting architect. The build- 
ing, which had first faced west and later south, now looked 
toward the east, as the principal entrance was constructed in 
the new wing. This portion of the building was not of brick 
like the earlier parts, but of Indiana limestone. The 
facade was enriched by medallions and caryatids 
designed by and executed under the supervision of Karl 
Bitter. The medallions bear the heads of certain Old Masters 
selected by the Building Committee: Bramante, Diirer, 

1 See Charter, Constitution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, p. 55. 



Michelangelo, Raphael, Velazquez, and Rembrandt, while the 
caryatids represent Sculpture, Architecture, Painting, and 

Editorial comment on this addition was almost universally 
favorable. The following words from the New York Evening 
Post of December 23, 1902, may stand as contemporaneous 
opinion, "The most noteworthy building of its kind in the 


city, one of the finest in the world, and the only public build- 
ing of recent years which approaches in dignity and grandeur 
the museums of the old world." 

The ceremony of opening this, the most beautiful part of 
the Museum building, on December 22, 1902, was extremely 
simple. It was formally opened with prayer by the Right 
Reverend Bishop of Washington, Henry Y. Satterlee; pre- 
sentation of the building to the Trustees by Hon. William R. 
Willcox, President of the Department of Parks; the accep- 



tance of it by Frederick W. Rhinelander, who upon the 
death of Henry G. Marquand had become President of the 
Museum; and an address by Hon. Seth Low, Mayor of the 

After Richard Morris Hunt's death the Municipal Art 
Society, of which he was the first president, initiated a move- 
ment to erect some suitable memorial to him. In this act of 
appreciation the Museum had its due share with the Century 
Association, the American Institute of Architects, the Archi- 
tectural League, the National Sculpture Society, and other 
organizations to which Mr. Hunt belonged. Daniel Chester 
French was chosen as sculptor. The place selected for this 
memorial was on the west of Fifth Avenue opposite the Lenox 
Library, one of the architect's most distinguished works, 
now in process of demolition. Here the memorial was dedi- 
cated October 31, 1898, on the anniversary of Mr. Hunt's 

During the six years from 1899 to 1904, the Museum lost 
by death nine of its Trustees, loyal men upon whom the 
Museum had depended, whose guidance in some instances 
went back even to the foundation of the institution, and 
whose services ever since had been arduous and unremitting. 
The first of these was Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, though at 
the head of a vast railroad system, found time for twenty 
years to be an active member of the Board of Trustees and 
for twelve years Chairman of the Executive Committee. 
His constant, unwearying interest is shown by the fact that 
during all that time he never missed a meeting when he was 
in New York. 

The following year James A. Garland, a prominent banker, 
and Hiram Hitchcock, the last of the original members of the 
firm that opened the Fifth Avenue Hotel, dropped from the 
ranks. Mr. Garland was a patron of art and a connoisseur 
of excellent judgment, who for many years devoted himself 



to gathering a large and valuable collection of ancient Chinese 
porcelain. This he had placed on exhibition at the Museum 
as a loan six years previous to his death. 

After Mr. Garland's death his executors sold to Duveen 
Brothers the Garland Collection, a possession which had given 
the Museum distinction among all art museums. The news- 
papers gave expression to the prevailing dismay at the loss 
to America of so great a treasure. Soon, however, J. Pier- 
pont Morgan prevented such a misfortune by purchasing the 
collection and continuing to lend it to the Museum. The 
Garland Collection has since then been known as the Morgan 
Collection, and to it from time to time have been added many 
rare pieces of Chinese porcelain. 

Mr. Hitchcock's term of service as a Museum Trustee went 
back to 1885, and his unofficial interest much further, for as 
an archaeologist and a close friend of General Cesnola's, he 
had helped in effecting the purchase of the Cypriote antiqui- 
ties by the Museum. For many years he had acted as Treas- 
urer, a conscientious and prudent manager of its funds. 
'Though a man of remarkable decision and firmness of char- 
acter, he yet possessed such' a genial and gentle personality, 
so much courtesy, modesty, and charity, that he won the 
warm affection of all his associates, who esteemed him 
highly for his manly, gracious, and amiable traits, the spirit 
of a true Christian gentleman." Thus did the Trustees refer 
to Mr. Hitchcock. 

In 1902 the Museum suffered an even greater loss when 
three prominent members joined the great majority. Among 
these was Henry G. Marquand, the banker and art collector, 
New York's most distinguished patron of art, who had con- 
ferred honor on the Museum by becoming its second Presi- 
dent in 1889. Perhaps no man in all the list of noble friends 
of the Museum was more enthusiastically devoted to its in- 
terests; for over thirty years it had been his chief thought 



and great joy. A natural-born connoisseur, he knew true 
art instinctively and it was his delight to collect many rare 

Salem H. Wales, for some years managing editor of the 
Scientific American, another colleague who died in 1902, was 
made a Trustee in 1872, and had been actively connected 
with the Museum since that time, a period of thirty years, 
during which every duty devolving on him was performed 
faithfully and zealously. Part of this time he had been Park 
Commissioner and President of the Department of Parks, 
positions which gave him an opportunity to work for the 
Museum interests. At the time of his death he was in the 
responsible position of Chairman of the Building Committee. 

Heber R. Bishop, another banker and director in many rail- 
road companies, the third Trustee to die in 1902, had been 
a valued member of the Board of Trustees for nearly twenty 
years. He built his own monument in the large collection 
of jades which, as elsewhere stated, was presented to the 
Museum a few months previous to his death. 

The following year, 1903, the Trustees were called on to 
mourn the loss of one of their stanchest friends and most 
devoted associates, William E. Dodge, a merchant of exten- 
sive business interests, who also "took a deep interest in all 
the prominent movements of his time, and especially in those 
of a religious, philanthropic, and educational character, giv- 
ing liberally both of his time and means to every object that 
had in view the elevation of his fellow-men." For more than 
a quarter of a century he had served continuously as Trustee 
and filled the responsible position of Chairman of the Execu- 
tive Committee for several years before his death. 

Nineteen hundred and four continued the Museum's re- 
cord of loss, for the devoted Director and two of the original 
Trustees, one of whom was the President succeeding Mr. 
Marquand, died during that year. The old order was in- 



deed changing, yielding place to new. It is difficult to speak 
with sufficient appreciation of the services of such men as 
Samuel P. A very, Frederick W. Rhinelander, and General 
Louis Palma di Cesnola. 

Mr. Avery's- connection with the Museum continued unin- 
terruptedly from its very inception, when he was a member 
of the Art Committee of the Union League Club and a secre- 
tary of the memorable meeting of November 23, 1 869. " He 
brought to the service of the Museum a large experience in 
the world of art, a mind enriched by travel and trained by the 
observation and study of the world's famous collections." A 
discriminating collector and a generous giver, he enriched by 
his abundant liberality the educational and art institutions 
of New York City, for example, the New York Public Library 
and Columbia University. Above all, his colleagues, the 
Trustees, bear witness that "he was a man of the highest 
ideals, who placed character above all other attainments." 

Frederick W. Rhinelander, the third President of the Mu- 
seum, had also known the Museum from its infancy. He was 
one of the signers of the original charter granted by the Legis- 
lature, one of the original subscribers, and continuously a 
Trustee. All his powers were enlisted in the service of the 
Museum, which became his chief pleasure and duty. He not 
only acquainted himself thoroughly with its collections and 
its needs, but also became familiar with foreign museums, 
that he might be better fitted to further the interests of his 
own museum. 

Of General Cesnola the Trustees wrote: 

"His fidelity, his minute attention to his duties, and his 
capacity for work during his long career of service, merit great 
praise. Other distinctions and other interests in life, if not 
forgotten, were permanently laid aside, and the welfare and 
growth of the Museum became his single interest and absorb- 
ing occupation. His military training, when joined to his 



public experience, gave him distinguished powers of adminis- 
tration; and, while critics are never wanting, his capacity to 
administer the Museum and adequately to exhibit its contents 
has not been questioned. 

"Whoever shall become his successor, and with whatever 
gifts he shall be endowed, the martial, independent figure of 
General di Cesnola -- somewhat restive in opposition and 
somewhat impetuous in speech and action, but at all times 
devoted to his duty and winning the affection of his sub- 
ordinates and associates -- will long remain a kindly and 
grateful memory." 

The death of General Cesnola meant much more than we at 
this distance can easily conceive. The Museum without his 
commanding personality must have seemed to his comrades 
almost unthinkable. He had known and often personally 
supervised each minute detail in every department. It was 
then a one man museum to a large extent; the stamp of Gen. 
Cesnola's character was impressed upon the institution. But 
it was growing beyond the possibility of one man's detailed 
oversight, even a man of Gen. Cesnola's capacity for steady 
work, and this fact he fully recognized; had he lived longer, 
the Museum must have changed its organization. An edito- 
rial in the New York Evening Post at the time of the opening 
of the East Wing put the matter fairly and frankly, and so 
we quote it in conclusion. 

"The very spaciousness and dignity of the architectural 
setting recall strikingly the fact that the curatorial staff 
neither in number nor in expert knowledge would be consid- 
ered adequate in a provincial museum of Germany, France, 
or Italy. That accomplished executive, General di Cesnola, 
has on various occasions expressed his desire to add experts 
of established reputation to the present staff. The needs of 
the collections as they now are demand this imperatively. 
Even more will the proper expenditure of the Rogers endow- 



ment, of which the Museum will soon have complete pos- 
session, require the highest kind of connoisseurship and knowl- 
edge of the art market. Without offense, it may be said 
that the Museum, in a period of remarkable accumulation, 
has fallen behind in the matter of scientific handling of its 
own exhibits. It should be said, too, that the time has passed 
when the individual zeal of such an enthusiast as Mr. Henry 
Marquand could control so great an institution. Private in 
form, this corporation has had notable subsidies from the 
State and City governments, and has always handsomely 
recognized its public duties and functions. High among these 
duties at the present time is that of granting Director di 
Cesnola's request for a supplementary staff of expert curators. 
Only in this way can the friends of art be sure that the 
splendid new wing will not only be filled, but filled worthily." 1 

1 N. Y. Evening Post, Dec. 23, 1902. 



1905 -- ICJI2 



1905 - - 1912 

THE first step that marked a new period of the Mu- 
seum's activity was the election on November 21, 
1904, as fourth president of J. Pierpont Morgan, 
who became a patron in 1871, a trustee in 1889, and had 
been a generous donor of objects of art since 1897. Mr. 
Morgan brought to the service of the Museum an earnest 
zeal for its welfare and an intimate acquaintance with the 
world of art in all its branches, coupled with every quality 
of leadership. His intuitive perception, his quick and 
decisive action, joined to his broad knowledge of men and 
affairs and his powerful influence, have combined to make 
that leadership singularly effective. 

Robert W. de Forest, who had been a trustee since 1889 
and a member of various important committees, became 
at almost the same time Secretary of the Board of Trustees. 
Mr. de Forest's deep interest in the Museum is both per- 
sonal and hereditary, inasmuch as John Taylor Johnston 
was his father-in-law. With wide sympathy and knowledge 
of men, art, and social conditions, with prompt and sure 
initiative in large affairs, with rare skill in their organiza- 
tion - - recognizing essentials, yet not forgetful of attendant 
details - - and with a strong and generous guiding hand, Mr. 
de Forest as Secretary and, later, as Second Vice President, 



has given of his time and energy unstintingly to the work 
of the Trustees in building up the Museum and administer- 
ing its affairs. 

The vacant directorship was temporarily filled by George 
H. Story, Curator of Painting, who was assigned to act in 
that capacity until a new Director could be selected. 

Before General Cesnola's death a committee had been ap- 
pointed to revise the constitution in a thoroughgoing fashion. 
In 1905 the changes recommended by this committee were 
made. Generally speaking, they were alterations in wording 
suggested for greater exactness or brevity of definition. 
Among the important changes in practice were the provisions 
that the President, Vice Presidents, and Treasurer should be 
elected from among the Trustees instead of from the Life 
Members of the Corporation; that Trustees should meet 
regularly five times annually, instead of four; that any 
person might be elected a Benefactor, Fellow in Per- 
petuity, or Fellow for Life who had given books, works of 
art, or objects for the collections to the value of the amount 
requisite for his admission to that degree, not twice the 
amount, as hitherto; that the term Patron should be dropped 
and Fellow in Perpetuity retained for that rank of member- 
ship; and finally, that an amendment to the Constitution 
should be possible by recommendation of a majority of the 
Trustees, instead of two-thirds, and by-laws, rules, and regu- 
lations might be made by the majority of the Trustees pre- 
sent at any meeting. 

An earl)' recommendation of the new secretary was that 
different classes of contributing membership should be created 
to afford an opportunity to those who would gladly give to 
the Museum much more than the ten dollars of the annual 
member and yet could not easily reach the thousand dollars 
of the Fellow for Life; in other words, the Museum should 
employ business methods to utilize all available public sup- 




port. Accordingly, two new classes of membership were 
created: Sustaining Members, who pay an annual contribu- 
tion of $25 and less than $100; and Fellowship Members, who 
pay an annual contribution of $100 or more. By this change 
the receipts from membership increased from $22,790 in 1904 
10^28,305 in 1905, and $37,355 in 1906. in connection with 
systematic efforts to enlarge the membership. 

The Trustees felt that the crucial issue for the Museum at 
this juncture was the selection of the right man as Director. 
Given the right Director, the Museum had a greater oppor- 
tunity to gain popular favor and ally itself with all classes of 
people than ever before, on the general principle that success 
if rightly utilized brings success. In this connection the quali- 
fications of the ideal person for the position were defined by 
the Trustees as follows: 

"The ideal director should combine 

" (a) Executive ability. 

" (b) Courtesy, and those qualities of the gentleman and 
man of the world which will enable him to put the Museum 
in a relation of respect and sympathy with the different 
classes of the community he meets in its interest. 

" (c) Expert knowledge of art, if not in all departments, at 
least with such breadth of view as to make him sympathize 
with all departments. 

"(d) Museum experience. . . . Executive capacity and 
gentlemanly qualities are essential. Museum experience can 
be acquired and comparatively limited knowledge of art on 
the part of the director can be supplemented by such knowl- 
edge in the curators of different departments under him." 

These four requisites were combined to an unusual degree 
in Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke, who resigned the Art Direc- 
torship of the Victoria and Albert Museum to assume the 
duties of Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to 
which he was elected on January 21, 1905. His marked 



executive ability was attested by his long and successful 
career in various branches of the government service. 
His museum experience in Europe and the Far East was of 
about thirty-five years' duration, a period of manifold duties 
well performed, and crowned by his appointment as director 
of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, familiarly 
known as the South Kensington Museum. His expert knowl- 
edge of art was evidenced by his training at the National Art 
Training Schools, by the important commissions with which 
he had been intrusted both as an architect and as a museum 
purchasing agent, and by his recognized place as an author 
and lecturer on subjects connected with art and archaeology. 
More than all else, his personality was so genial, his sympathy 
and kindliness of disposition so unfailing, his interest in others 
so infectious that he was unusually equipped to win friends 
for the Museum and extend a gracious hospitality to all 
classes of people. In October, 1905, Sir Caspar Purdon 
Clarke took up his duties, and the following month, on 
November 1 5th, was tendered a reception at the Museum 
when more than 8,000 people from all classes of New York 
society welcomed the new director. 

Another appointment was made in December, 1905, when 
Edward Robinson, formerly Director of the Museum of Fine 
Arts of Boston, Mass., was elected Assistant Director, a 
newly created position of which he was the first incumbent. 
From the report of the committee, the following statement 
in regard to Mr. Robinson is copied: 

"This recommendation is made after full conference with 
our Director, with his entire concurrence and, indeed, at his 

" Mr. Robinson is personally known to most of our Trustees 
and is widely known in Museum and academic circles both at 
home and abroad. He was graduated from Harvard Univer- 
sity in 1879, studied for five years abroad, in Germany, 



Greece, and elsewhere, was Curator of Classical Antiques in 
the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from 1885 to 1902, and 
has been Director of that Museum until his resignation 
was accepted on December 9. He was also lecturer on 
Classical Archaeology at Harvard University for many 
years. He is a member of many art and archaeological 
societies. He received the degree of LL.D. from Aberdeen 
University, Scotland, in April last. He tendered his 
resignation as Director of the Boston Museum some four 
months ago, for reasons satisfactory to himself and his 
friends, and which do not affect in any degree his qualifica- 
tions for official position in our Museum." 

The work of organization of an enlarged staff continued as 
opportunity afforded to obtain men and women of the right 
calibre. The aim throughout was to add to the staff trained 
experts, each of whom should be assigned to a particular de- 
partment according to his special training. Quoting again 
from the Secretary's statement of policy, "They (the curators) 
should each be an expert in his particular department, cap- 
able not only of arranging and scientifically cataloguing the 
collections under them, but of acting as expert advisers in 
purchasing. They should also, as far as possible, have exec- 
utive ability, courtesy, and relations to other scientific men, 
but their prime requisite should be knowledge of their partic- 
ular departments. Sooner or later the Museum, as respects 
departments, should be systematically reorganized, and a 
competent curator placed at the head of each separate de- 

The keynote of the present era in the history of The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, as in that of museums gen- 
erally, is educational efficiency. As has been said, "It has 
become well recognized in recent years that the undertaking 
of a museum does not cease with the collection and exhibition 
of works of art. It has to make them intelligible and attrac- 



tive to the public." With this trend President, Secretary, 
and Director of The Metropolitan Museum were in heartiest 
accord and for the realization of this aim steps were almost 
immediately taken. 

Under the general head of educational work may be grouped 
the rearrangement of the collections in a more logical and 
instructive way, the holding of frequent temporary loan exhi- 
bitions, the publication of the Museum Bulletin, the opening 
of a room for recent accessions, the issuing of catalogues, the 
sale of photographs, the increased facilities offered to students 
of art, copyists, and artists, to sketch from or copy objects 
in the Museum collection, the better accommodation and 
greater use of the Library, and most important perhaps, the 
relation of cooperation with the public and private schools 
of greater New York. 

The rearrangement of the objects for greater educational 
value has been progressing steadily. At last the Museum 
found itself in a position to build up its collections according 
to a comprehensive scientific plan. Earlier the officers could 
afford neither to alienate the friends of the Museum by declin- 
ing gifts that were sometimes scarcely worthy to be exhibited, 
nor to purchase objects of real excellence to fill in the gaps 
in the collection. The aim in the increase and rearrangement 
of the collections was stated by the Trustees to be "not 
merely to assemble beautiful objects and display them har- 
moniously, still less to amass a collection of unrelated curios, 
but to group together the masterpieces of different 
countries and times in such relation and sequence as to 
illustrate the history of art in the broadest sense, to make 
plain its teaching, and to inspire and direct its 
national development." They pledged themselves not to 
"forget that the original purpose of the Museum, as 
set forth in its charter, was largely educational and was 
not merely that of 'establishing' a great collection of art 



objects, but 'of encouraging and developing the 
study of the fine arts and the application of arts to manufac- 
tures and practical life and of advancing the general knowl- 
edge of kindred subjects." It would be impracticable at 
least, if not impossible, to record the entire development of 
the Museum in carrying out this aim. The new Egyptian 
galleries may stand as a striking illustration of the accom- 
plishment of only a few years. " Less than five years ago that 
entire collection was contained in the corridor at the right 
of the main staircase. It included objects, many of them 
important, which had been acquired principally through 
chance, by gifts and otherwise, and which were largely un- 
related to one another, representing but a few periods in the 
long course of Egyptian civilization. Today it fills more 
than comfortably ten galleries, arranged in historical se- 
quence, so that the visitor who passes from one to another, 
following the order in which they are numbered, can trace the 
whole history of Egyptian art from its crude beginnings in 
predynastic times to its last expressions in the Coptic period. 
In other words, he will cover a span of some 4,500 years, from 
about 4000 B. C. to the seventh century A. D., and this 
almost exclusively with original material, the few repro- 
ductions which are included having been added mainly for 
purposes of illustration." 1 

The policy of holding frequent loan exhibitions, which may 
justly be considered a return to the plan of the first Trustees, 
has been definitely adopted in recent years and carried out as 
a recognized part of the Museum program since 1908. " It is 
the intention of the Trustees," according to an announce- 
ment made through the Bulletin, "to confine each of these 
exhibitions to one subject, in a comparatively narrow field, 
but to have them ultimately cover the entire range of art 
which is represented in the collections of the Museum, 

1 Bulletin, Vol. VI, p. 203. 



strengthening these for the time by examples borrowed from 
other collections, chiefly those of private owners, which are 
not usually accessible to the public." They "look forward 
to a great increase in the educational work which the Museum 
will be enabled to perform . . . both by stimulating a 
general interest in the various forms of art, or the works of 
individual artists, which will thus be displayed, and by offer- 
ing to the public an exceptionally high standard for the cul- 
tivation of its taste or knowledge of the arts that will be 
included." 1 The special fields of art already touched by these 
short exhibitions include paintings, Dutch and American, 
sculpture, arms and armor, rugs, silver, glass, ceramics, and 
furniture. Their educational value has been enhanced by 
the careful preparation of catalogues, text-books as it were, 
for each exhibition, both text and illustrations furnishing a 
permanent record of a temporary exhibit. The generous co- 
operation in these exhibitions of hundreds of lenders furnishes 
a pleasing illustration of the way in which American collectors 
interpret the privileges of possession. 

Although the story of these recent exhibitions is familiar 
to the friends of the Museum, a brief summary should be 
inserted here for the sake of record. The first, a memorial 
exhibition of the works of the late Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 
was arranged with the active assistance of Mrs. Saint- 
Gaudens and Homer Saint-Gaudens, and through the enthu- 
siastic labors of a distinguished committee, of which Daniel 
Chester French was Chairman and Frederick S. Wait, Treas- 
urer. This exhibition was held in the large central hall of the 
Fifth Avenue Wing from March 2, 1908, to May 31, 1908. Its 
one hundred and fifty-four objects included practically all of 
the achievements of "our foremost sculptor." Where the orig- 
inals could not be secured because of their character, plaster 
casts or photographs represented the work of the master. 

'Bulletin, Vol. V. p. 168. 



The year 1909 was memorable for its loan exhibitions. 
Fortunate circumstances combined with skilful planning and 
forceful administration account for the unusual success of the 
year. From January 4th to February 22d, in the galleries 
of the new north wing, then first used, was held a unique ex- 
hibition of German paintings and sculpture on the initiative 
of a public-spirited citizen of New York, Hugo Reisinger. 
The Consul General of the German Empire, Mr. Buenz, 
with the special sanction of the German Emperor, asked for 
space in our galleries for, an exhibition that should represent 
the best contemporary German art, the expense to be borne 
by the friends of that art who desired to secure for it wider 
recognition and greater appreciation. Over two hundred 
works, selected by competent German authorities, were 

On September 2oth of the same year, a loan exhibition 
was held in connection with the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. 
It was assembled under the direction of the Sub-committee 
on Art Exhibits of the Hudson-Fulton Commission, of 
which Robert W. deForest was Chairman, and Sir Caspar 
Purdon Clarke, Edward Robinson, George A. Hearn, and 
George F. Kunz were members. J. Pierpont Morgan was 
Chairman of the general committee of which this was a sub- 
committee. The work of collection and arrangement fell 
upon the staff of the Museum. The exhibit was divided 
into two distinct parts -- a section of Dutch paintings, num- 
bering 143 works, including 37 pictures by Rembrandt, 21 
by Frans Hals, and 6 by Vermeer, and an American sec- 
tion devoted to early paintings and industrial arts. These 
two sections represented as nearly as possible the period of 
Hudson and the period of Fulton. Both sections consti- 
tuted the most notable loan collections within their re- 
spective spheres ever brought together in America. The 
appreciation which this exhibition won from the public was 



evident from the record of attendance, which included over 
300,000 visitors. An illustrated catalogue de luxe of the 
Dutch paintings was subsequently published and affords 
a permanent record of this memorable collection. 

In the first exhibition of 1910, the Whistler Exhibition, 
held from March i5th to May 3ist, the aim was not merely 
to gather an excellent showing of the works of this original 
artist, an aim which was accomplished, as the collection 
included forty-six pictures in oil and pastel, but also to ex- 
hibit these works in Whistler's own way, following in every 
minute detail of arrangement and setting the noteworthy 
example furnished by the artist himself. This attempt gained 
the approval of Whistler's executrix, Miss Rosalind Birnie- 

Rare early Oriental rugs were collected for the next exhib- 
it, held from November i, 1910, to January 15, 1911, which 
attracted wide interest. 

The record of 1911 includes four exhibitions, the largest 
number in any one year. Simultaneously from February 6th 
to March i9th were held a memorial exhibition of the works 
of the late Winslow Homer and an exhibition of European 
arms and armor, the first of its kind in America. The latter 
was continued for ten weeks, until April i6th. Simultane- 
ously again and in the same exhibition hall were exhibited 
from November 6th to December 31 st, a group of American 
colonial portraits by Smibert, Copley, Blackburn, and others, 
and a collection of early ecclesiastical silver used in New 
York, New Jersey, and the South, of English, Swedish, 
Dutch, and American workmanship, and of domestic 
plate made by early New York silversmiths. The silver 
was collected and lent to the Museum through the efforts 
of the Society of Colonial Dames of the State of New York. 

The frequent visitor who aims to have a systematic knowl- 
edge of the Museum collections deserves the utmost consider- 



ation. Two special methods to facilitate such sightseeing, 
adopted more or less experimentally, have been continued as 
regular parts of the Museum program. The first was the 
publication of a Museum Bulletin started as a quarterly in 
November, 1905, but soon changed to a monthly record of 
Museum news. Its object has been to furnish a ready 
means of communication between the officers and staff of 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the one hand and the 
members and friends of the Museum on the other; in other 
words, it is a peripatetic "information bureau" which aims 
to impart knowledge simply and attractively and so to en- 
courage visits to the Museum and make them more helpful. 
It contains a complete list of all accessions with sufficient 
indication where each may be found and a more or less ex- 
tended description, generally with illustrations, of the more 
important objects, whether gifts or purchases. It announces 
any change in arrangement or rules. It gives full informa- 
tion on all subjects connected with the Museum. No longer 
is its usefulness a matter for question; its place is estab- 
lished. With a subscription list of about 550, exclusive 
of the membership, and a large sale at the catalogue 
desks, it is an agent by no means insignificant in spreading 
a knowledge of art. 

The second device was the use of a special room to exhibit 
together the accessions of the month in all departments. 
Later they must be scattered in various parts of the building 
in order to secure a scientific arrangement. Their grouping 
for a month, however, aids the visitor who wishes to see the 
new collections quickly and easily. This plan, inaugurated 
in 1906, having been found to fill a need, has been kept 
up ever since. Objects that by their minuteness and value 
will find their permanent home in the Gold Room cannot 
be placed in the Room of Recent Accessions; objects that by 
their size require a great deal of space must of necessity be 



placed elsewhere. With such exceptions new accessions 
have been so displayed. 

One of the duties of the curators, as stated in the by-laws, 
is to "prepare guides and handbooks of the objects exhibited 
in their respective departments." This work has been taken 
up more seriously and systematically during the last few 
years than ever before, although even during the very early- 
years of the Museum the Trustees recognized the educational 
value of catalogues and did their utmost to explain the col- 
lections committed to their care. With the systematic re- 
labeling of the exhibits, however, there naturally followed 
the compiling of new catalogues for correctness and complete- 
ness of statement. By no means all of the collections are 
represented in the handbooks as yet published, but several 
other handbooks are in course of preparation. The ideal 
sought but not yet attained is such an array of published helps 
that any visitor who wishes to study any part of the collection 
shall find printed material at hand. 

Of like purpose, to supply the public with facilities for a 
knowledge of the Museum collections, were the organiza- 
tion of the Photograph Department and the establishment 
of an Information Desk at the Fifth Avenue entrance. 
Previous to 1906 the supply of photographic prints obtain- 
able at the Museum was limited to a comparatively small 
number printed by Pach Brothers. Since then the Museum 
has organized its own photographic department, in which 
all accessions to the Museum as received are systematically 
photographed for purposes of identification and cataloguing, 
and where photographs are made of all important objects 
in the Museum collections, ranging in size from the familiar 
postal card which sells for five cents to larger sizes suitable 
for framing. The number of negatives at present is over 
25,000. Moreover, opportunity has been freely given to 
important publishers of art photographs, at home and 



abroad, to photograph the pictures and other objects of art 
and to place their photographs on sale at the Museum. 
Every visitor to the Museum is now able to obtain not only 
the Museum's own photographs, but photographs published 
by Braun, Clement & Co. of Paris, Pach Brothers, the 
Detroit Publishing Company, the Elson Company, and 
others. The Information Desk is not only the salesroom for 
the photographs and catalogues, but also the reception room, 
as it were, at the very threshold of the Museum where a 
welcome is extended and help offered in answering the many 
and varied questions of visitors to the Museum. 

Somewhat earlier than these innovations came certain 
changes in the rules for sketching and copying which granted 
increased privileges to the student of art. By the new regu- 
lations copying is permitted every day except Saturday, Sun- 
day, and legal holidays, instead of only on the two pay days, 
as hitherto. Under the former rules or practice of the 
Museum, sketching or making notes of the objects of the 
collections had been absolutely forbidden and the collections 
had thereby lost much of their value to the earnest student 
or ambitious artisan. This policy was reversed and since 
1905 permission has been freely granted to use in this way 
any exhibits except those objects which have been copy- 
righted and those which are lent. For these permission is 
granted upon presentation of the owner's consent in writing. 
Even the use of hand cameras is permitted on the same 
terms. For all kinds of copying requiring the use of an 
easel or modeling stand, permission must be obtained. In 
191 1 there were 1,103 permits issued. Copies may be made 
in any size required, a concession some museums do not 
grant. Thus the opportunity to copy has been extended 
just as far as is consistent with the preservation of order, 
the observance of copyright laws, and the just treatment of 



The Museum Library, another educational agency in the 
Museum, entered upon a new epoch when by the conditions 
of the Rogers Bequest a part of the income from the Rogers 
Fund was to be expended for books for the Library. This 
bequest, therefore, not only afforded opportunity for the 
creation of an excellent library of art, but made this task 


almost imperative. Under such conditions it became wise 
to state clearly the scope and policy of the Library. The 
Library Committee in a report presented early in 1906 gave 
as its opinion, "The Museum Library should be a storehouse 
of information upon any subject illustrated by the Museum 
collections -- irrespective of the fact that the same or similar 
books are to be found upon the shelves of other City Libraries 
in order that the necessary sources of information may be 



open and easy of access to the Directors and Curators of 
the Museum and also to all of its visitors who are students 
and not simply sightseers. . . . The acquisition of fine 
and rare books would appear to be within the province of a 
Library of Art. Monuments of early printing, illuminated 
manuscripts, and book bindings from the hands of renowned 
bibliopegists of former times are as much works of art ... 
as paintings on canvas or sculptures in stone, and as full of 
the inspiration that flows only from original works of art." 

The Library, which had been deposited at first in "a small, 
dark, damp room in the basement of the first building erected 
by the city for the Museum in Central Park," had been 
assigned in 1888 to a room on the second story of the South 
Wing, which was completed in that year. There it had shelf- 
room for ten thousand volumes and reading tables to accom- 
modate perhaps a dozen readers. This became very much 
crowded as the collection of books increased and the Library 
overflowed into the adjoining Board Room. In 1910 the 
Library entered its third home, an annex on the south side 
of the building built especially for its accommodation and 
correspondingly commodious. Here a room was provided 
for the study collection of photographs, which in 1910 
numbered upward of 28,000 and on January i, 1912, had 
reached a total of 33,423, covering ancient and modern 
art, both fine and industrial. 

At the very threshold of this period, in January, 1905, the 
Executive Committee adopted a resolution that marked a 
definite advance, as it was the first statement found in the 
minutes of the sympathetic attitude of the Museum toward 
the public school teachers and scholars. It reads: 

"Whereas: The Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum 
of Art desire to extend the educational opportunities of the 
Museum so far as practicable to trie teachers and scholars 
of the public schools of the City. 



"Resolved: That the Board of Education be notified of 
the willingness of the Trustees to issue on application to any 
teacher in the public schools, under such regulations as the 
Board of Education may prescribe, a ticket entitling such 
teacher to free admittance to the Museum at all times when 
the Museum is open to the public, including pay days, either 
alone or accompanied by not more than six public school 
scholars for whose conduct such teacher will be willing to be- 
come responsible." 

By this resolution the door to the Museum was thrown 
open to the teachers of the public schools; they had but to 
come and avail themselves of the hospitality of the Museum. 
The Board of Education through its President, Henry 
N. Tifft, sent notification of this action to all teachers in the 
public schools, with the result that 1,093 applications for 
teachers' tickets were received during 1905. 

Two years later another forward step was taken when the 
place of Supervisor of Museum Instruction was created, and 
the Assistant Secretary, Henry W. Kent, was appointed 
to perform the duties of this new position. By his 
interest in this phase of Museum activity and his exper- 
ience in similar work, he was exceptionally qualified to 
take the initiative in such endeavor. The object in view 
was active cooperation with the teachers, and furnishing 
practical help in making the Museum an important ally 
in the teaching of art, history, and literature as taken up 
in the curriculum of the public schools. The Annual Report 
of 1907 announced, "Special written information will be given 
at any time to teachers who will .designate in advance the 
work which they wish to illustrate. A class room with seat- 
ing capacity of about one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
and containing apparatus for stereopticon exhibition, has 
been set aside for the use of teachers with pupils and may be 
secured at any time during Museum hours, notice being 



given in advance in order to prevent conflicting visits. When 
the visits of teachers or pupils fall on 'pay days/ provision 
is made for their admission without charge. Photographs 
and lantern slides from the collections of the Museum are 

sent to the class room when desired, and assistance in selecting 
those which will be of use in the ground to be covered by the 
teacher's lecture is gladly given. Direct intercourse between 
the Museum and the teachers is had from time to time, and 
lectures on special subjects are being given by members of 
the Museum staff. . . . 

" The Museum holds itself ready at all times to confer with 
teachers and to assist as far as it may in their work, and it is 
hoped that in the future they will find it possible to take more 
advantage of the benefits which the institution can give than 
the demands of the school system have seemed to permit in 
the past." 

In other words, by the appointment of a Supervisor of 
Museum Instruction and the equipping of a class-room for 
the use of teachers, the Museum had not merely extended 
a cordial invitation to teachers, but had made definite pre- 
parations for accommodating its guests. The teachers and 
scholars came in increasing numbers. In 1907 the number 
of teachers with classes attending the Museum was 2,224; 
in 1908, the number rose to 5,627. 

Still further material- to render the Museum useful to 
teachers and scholars has now been prepared. Since 1907 
the Museum has been acquiring by gift or purchase a col- 
lection of lantern slides numbering 10,763, which is kept at 
the Information Desk. These are not confined to objects 
in the Museum, but have been chosen to illustrate the various 
subjects represented in the Museum collections. They are 
used both for lectures in the Museum and elsewhere; in 
fact, they are frequently sent a hundred miles or more from 
New York City. For use in free lectures, there is no fee; for 



private purposes, a charge of one cent per slide is made with 
a minimum charge of fifty cents. This enables any teacher 
of art to illustrate his lectures without cost or with a nominal 
payment, according to the circumstances. 

The third step was taken by the Museum in 1908 by the 
appointment of a Museum Instructor, whose whole time 
should be occupied with guiding classes and individuals to 
the objects they wished to see in connection with school work 
or for personal pleasure. This innovation was tried on the 
general principle that a person is a more inspiring guide than 
a book or a label. Not only had the Museum prepared 
a room; it had also secured a hostess to greet and entertain 
its guests. To quote again, 'The pleasantest form of 
introduction to objects of art is undoubtedly the com- 
panionship of someone who knows them and who leads us 
to them and instils into us by words and behavior his 
familiarity and love for them. Visits to museums with such 
people are engraved on our memories and affect our 
whole future experience. Encouragement by the explana- 
tion of a simple point, the answering, maybe, of a trivial 
question, the direction of a tendency, the correction of an 
error, the interpretation of a meaning, a convention, a techni- 
cal process, the unveiling of some evasive but significant 
beauty, the mere charm of intercourse with a well-informed 
man who has feeling, may fill moments of enthrallment." By 
the appointment of a Museum Instructor, the opportunity 
of seeing the Museum collections under expert guidance was 
open to everyone. Members, teachers, and pupils of the 
public schools receive this assistance free; all others pay a 
nominal charge of twenty-five cents per person, with a mini- 
mum of one dollar per hour. Over four thousand persons 
during 1911 were thus aided to appreciate the collections, of 
whom thirty-seven hundred were teachers and classes. This 
result is more encouraging because it is an evidence of real, 



spontaneous interest, inasmuch as the Board of Education 
does not require art museum visiting as a part of the school 
curriculum, as is the case in the science museums. 

The most recent development of the situation has been the 
appointment by the Superintendent of Education of Dr. 
James P. Haney, Supervisor of Art in the High Schools, to 
investigate the feasibility of cooperation with the Museum, 
following the lines of the Museum's approval in this matter 
during the last few years, and then to recommend a scheme 
to show the utility and effect of such cooperation from the 
point of view of the schools. That is, the school authorities 
have now taken official action looking toward the possibility 
of closer cooperation with the Museum in the future. 

With the opening of the Lecture Room in the fall of 1911 
an opportunity was given for a course of lectures specially 
designed to help the High School teachers to use the Museum 
collections with and for their pupils intelligently and success- 
fully. Such a series of talks was conducted during the spring 
of 1912 as follows: Museums and Teachers of History, by 
President G. Stanley Hall, of Clark University; Museums and 
Teachers of Art, by Kenyon Cox; Museums and Teachers of 
English, by Professor Stockton Axson, of Princeton Univer- 
sity; and Museums and Teachers of the Classics, by Professor 
Oliver S. Tonks, of Vassar College. 

The goal toward which the Museum has been working in 
all these progressive steps, and toward which it will continue 
to work, is to secure a recognized place in the curriculum of 
the schools for visits to the Museum, that they may be 
planned for regularly in the assignment of time with the other 
studies. Then only will the work be on a permanent basis, 
no longer dependent on the enthusiasm of the teacher or the 
interest of the supervisor, but continuing by right and neces- 
sity, not by favor or option. 

Of the unequal struggle between the capacity of the build- 



ing and the growth of the collections, in which the Trustees 
have been engaged even from 1872, the last few years furnish 
the best illustration. The construction of a building is 
necessarily slow, while the increase in the exhibits has come 
by unexpected leaps and bounds. Although four extensions 
for public use, the so-called Wings E, F, G, and H, have been 
added during this last period, at no time has the Museum been 


able to exhibit all its collections. Such problems, however, 
are but the price of success, and incident to unusual develop- 

For all these new wings McKim, Mead, and White have 
been appointed architects. The first, adjoining the first 
Fifth Avenue Wing on the north, was authorized at a cost 
not exceeding $1,250,000 by a law passed March 23, 1904^ 
The others came under the provisions of a law passed June 17, 
1907, ~ enabling the Department of Parks to appropriate a 
sum not exceeding $750,000 annually for not more than ten 
years for extensions and repairs. 

'Charter, Constitution, By-laws, Lease, Laws, 1910, p. 60. 
2 Charter, Constitution, By-laws, Lease, Laws, 1910, p. 63. 



The second story of Wing E was used for the first time in 
January, 1909, at the exhibition of contemporary German art 
and again utilized for the Hudson-Fulton Exhibition of the 
same year. The first story was devoted to the installation 
of the greatly enlarged Egyptian collection. 

Long before the completion of this wing, however, a delight- 
ful necessity for still another wing had arisen, tor J. Pierpont 
Morgan had generously offered to place in the Museum the 
entire Georges Hoentschel Collection of objects of French 
decorative art of the Gothic period and of the eighteenth 
century, the former as a loan, the latter as a gift. Georges 
Hoentschel, a distinguished architect of Paris, whose special 
branch is the restoration or construction of interiors of these 
two periods, gathered together for his own use and pleasure 
examples of untold value to the architect, the designer, and 
the craftsman. The receipt of his collection, unequaled by 
that of any other private collector, and in its eighteenth 
century section surely unmatched by any public museum, 
provided a large and valuable nucleus for a collection of 
European decorative arts and occasioned both the formation 
of a Department of Decorative Arts and the building of a 
Wing of Decorative Arts, technically called Wing F. 

"This is the first part of our Museum building which has 
ever been planned with a definite knowledge of, and with a 
direct reference to, the collections it was to contain, and it is 
an object lesson of the incalculable advantage of having such 
knowledge in advance whenever circumstances make it pos- 
sible." 1 Mr. McKim went to Paris, saw the Hoentschel 
Collection as it was installed in M. Hoentschel's private 
gallery, and studied the arrangement of the Musee des arts 
decoratifs of the Louvre, from which the mere suggestion of 
a plan was gained. The building, briefly described, consists 
of a large central hall, sixty-seven feet high, lighted by a 

1 E. R. in Supplement to Bulletin, March, 1910, p. 5. 



clerestory and surrounded by two stories of smaller galleries 
lighted from one side only. 

March 14, 1910, was the date of the opening of this wing. 
Not only were European decorative arts admirably repre- 



sented, but American art as well made an exceptional show- 
ing through the welcome gift made by Mrs. Russell Sage of 
the whole of the Bolles Collection of American furniture and 
decorative arts. This important collection was gathered by 
H. Eugene Bolles, a Boston lawyer, during twenty-five years, 
at a time when the value of our native art was scarcely appre- 


dated at all and when consequently the collector had an ex- 
ceptional opportunity, which Mr. Bolles utilized most in- 
telligently and painstakingly. The collection includes the 
decorative arts from the time of the earliest settlements in 
New England to the first quarter of the nineteenth century. 

By the side of such unusual gifts as those of Mr. Morgan 
and Mrs. Sage should stand the presentation in 1910 of the 
Murch Collection of Egyptian Antiquities by Miss Helen 
Miller Gould. This collection, brought together by the late 
Dr. Chauncey Murch during a twenty-years' residence in 
Luxor, Egypt, while he was directing the work of the 
American Presbyterian Mission, is rich in seal cylinders, 
scarabs, and amulets. 

The collection of laces and textiles as it now exists may 
fitly be termed a product of recent years. In 1906 the laces 
numbered about seven hundred pieces, acquired principally 
through the purchase in 1879 of the MacCallum Collection, 
and the gift in 1888 of the laces of the late Mrs. John Jacob 
Astor by Mr. Astor pursuant to her wishes. These 
laces, beautiful in themselves, needed classification and ar- 
rangement to enhance their value, work which was success- 
fully accomplished in the spring of 1906 under the direction 
of Frau Kubasek of Vienna, who had performed similar work 
on several large collections of Europe and America. The 
classification used was enlarged by Miss Margaret Taylor 
Johnston from one prepared by Miss Catherine A. Newbold 
for the Loan Collection of Laces at the World's Fair in 
Chicago. The enthusiastic interest and untiring industry of 
Miss Newbold, Miss Johnston, Mrs. Robert W. de Forest, 
and Miss Mary Parsons soon began to bear fruit in the gifts 
from many donors of rare examples of the lacemaker's art. 
So extensive have been the additions that the collection now 
numbers over three thousand pieces and easily bears com- 
parison with any European collection. Three large collec- 



tions of lace have been received in one way or another: the 
Nuttall Collection, which numbers nine hundred and eighty- 
four pieces and represents some thirty-two countries, was 
presented by Mrs. Magdalena Nuttall of Tunbridge Wells, 
England; the Blackborne Collection, gathered by Thomas 
Blackborne from about 1850, and augmented by his son 
Arthur Blackborne, a collection of international reputa- 
tion, comprising over six hundred examples and including 
all periods of lace manufacture, was purchased for the 
Museum by sixty-two ladies and gentlemen; and the Selig- 
man Collection, consisting of ninety-five pieces of rare seven- 
teenth and eighteenth century lace, was bequeathed by Mrs. 
Henrietta Seligman. 

The collection of textiles, which had been growing steadily, 
leaped in 1909 by a fortunate purchase to a comprehensive- 
ness equal to that of the laces. This acquisition was the 
collection of the late Friedrich Fischbach of Wiesbaden, 
numbering nearly three thousand examples of European 
weaves and Coptic and Persian textiles, a collection which 
offers a rare opportunity for students of the arts and crafts. 
For their use a study-room of textiles has been equipped, 
and many of the interesting examples not on exhibition may 
there be examined. 

The Department of Egyptian Art was organized in 1906 in 
recognition of the fact that the years of productiveness in 
Egyptian excavation were fast nearing an end and conse- 
quently the Museum must enter the field actively if it were 
to secure a satisfactory share of the rich yield of Egyptian 
antiquities. Private liberality enabled the Museum to take 
advantage of the opportunity. The Museum obtained from 
the Egyptian authorities concessions to excavate at three 
sites, "representing three important periods of Egyptian art, 
- the pyramid field of Lisht, about thirty miles south of 
Cairo, the Oasis of Kharga, situated in the Libyan Desert, 



about one hundred miles west of the Nile, and the palace of 
Amenhotep 1 1 1 at Thebes." At no one of these sites have the 
excavations been completed, but so rich have been the finds 
so far, that in November, 191 1, in the new Egyptian galleries, 
ten in number, there was installed a rarely interesting col- 
lection of antiquities made up of the earlier collection re- 
arranged, the objects obtained by excavation, and the gifts 
and loans of interested friends. Excavations are still being 
carried on with gratifying results. 

From Egypt before Christ to America in the twentieth 
century is, indeed, a long stride, but the authorities of an Art 
Museum, if they live up to their opportunities, must be as 
alert for a good representation of the art of the latter period 
as for that of the former. The endeavor to give American 
art an adequate showing in this Museum has been ably 
reenforced by the generosity of George A. Hearn, of whose 
"endowment, so to speak, of contemporary American paint- 
ing" some appreciation should here be given. In money 
alone, his noteworthy munificence has now reached the large 
amount of $251 ,000, the income of which is to be used for the 
purchase of paintings by living Americans; in paintings 
his gifts number seventy-five, including some works of 
various European schools. Two galleries are entirely filled 
with pictures which he has presented, and a third con- 
tains a large number of paintings of which he was the 
donor, besides several that he has lent. Since 1906 
twenty-six pictures have been purchased from the Hearn 
Funds. By so fortunate an arrangement the collection 
of American paintings has grown far beyond its possible 
increase without such abundant aid. 

Friends of the Museum have not been wanting in these 
last years, as the preceding record shows. Further evidence 
of this fact is furnished by the generous legacies received, of 
which we can refer only to the most conspicuous, three in 



number. Frederick C. Hewitt of Owego, New York, a man 
of singularly unpretentious life who would not so much as 
become an annual member of the Museum during his life- 
time, at his death in August, 1908, made the Museum his 
residuary legatee as well as a specific legatee to the extent of 
$500,000. From his estate the Museum has received more 
than $1,500,000. Though not a New Yorker, and not per- 


sonally acquainted with the Trustees of the Museum, he 
reposed sufficient confidence in their integrity and good 
judgment to make this large gift to the Museum. 

The second bequest, on the contrary, came from the 
Second Vice-President of the Museum, John Stewart Ken- 
nedy, who was but giving a continuity and permanence to 
long years of conscientious service for the Museum by be- 
queathing to it three sixty-fourths of his residuary estate, 
from which over $2,000,000 has already been realized. To 
understand the spirit of this princely giver, we may read 
the preface to his will, in which he states, "Having been 
greatly prospered in the business which I carried on for more 
than thirty years in this my adopted country and being 
desirous of leaving some expression of my sympathy with its 


religious, charitable, benevolent, and educational institu- 
tions, I give and bequeath . . . the following legacies." 
In other words, his legacies, as well as his gifts during his 
lifetime, were prompted by a high sense of duty and a 
breadth of interest which included not only his adopted 
country, but his native Scotland and the Far East. Like 
Mr. Hewitt, he was singularly unostentatious; few knew the 
extent of his gifts while he lived, and to many his large 
bequests came as a surprise. 

Darius Ogden Mills, another Trustee, bequeathed to the 
Museum the sum of $100,000, which has since been used 
as a memorial fund for the purchase of works of art. 

With these legacies should be grouped a most unexpected 
and gratifying gift received on February 19, 1912, from 
Francis L. Leland. This consisted of twelve hundred shares 
of the New York County National Bank, of which Mr. 
Leland is President. These shares represent a well-invested 
fund of over a million dollars, and so the gift is by far the 
largest in money ever made to the Museum by a person dur- 
ing his lifetime. 

It is but fitting that in these last pages we turn aside from 
the material prosperity, the hum of building operations, the 
stir of installing new treasures, the busy days of loan 
exhibitions, even the gratifying use of large gifts 
and legacies, to live again with some who have 
joined the great majority. Although in 1912 the records 
show a membership of 3,151 as against 3,056 in 1907, some 
loyal friends of the Museum are no longer numbered 
in the total. Nine Trustees have left places hard to 
fill, six of them having died within a single twelve- 
month. Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, last but one of the Founders 
of the Museum, a direct descendant of Governor Peter Stuy- 
vesant, had for nearly forty years retained the greatest inter- 
est in and strongest attachment to the Museum even 




when his life abroad prevented his active participa- 
tion in its councils. One of the first collectors of arms and 
armor in this country, he was able by his trained connois- 
seurship to further the interests of the Museum in obtaining 
excellent examples of the armorer's work; especially was he 
instrumental in the acquisition of the Ellis and Dino Collec- 
tions. John Crosby Brown, the faithful Treasurer of the 
Museum, who was for fourteen consecutive years a Trustee, 
was a man of "large religious, educational, and philanthropic 
interest,' an elder in the Madison Square Presbyterian 
Church, a trustee of Columbia University, and President of 
the Union Theological Seminary, one of those men "who 
sweeten and enrich the life of a city," who make "integrity 
beautiful and righteousness contagious." Charles Pollen 
Me Kim, the architect, whose services to education and the 
public taste in such buildings as the Boston Public Library, 
the Library of Columbia University, and Mr. Morgan's 
Library, are a public heritage, left among his fellow-trustees 
a memory of personal charm. John Stewart Kennedy, a Vice- 
President of the Museum, to whose generous legacy reference 
has already been made, gave to the Museum over twenty- 
years of active, forceful attention as a Trustee, and came into 
a place of warm, personal friendship with his comrades on the 
Board. William Mackay Laffan, editor, scholar, and lover of 
the beautiful, was so bountifully endowed by nature that the 
Museum is infinitely richer for his five years' trusteeship. 
Charles Stewart Smith had borne the burden and heat of the 
day for twenty years, in particular serving most efficiently 
on the Building Committee, safeguarding the interests both 
of the City and of the Museum, and promoting a helpful 
relationship between the two. Darius Ogden Mills was 
indeed an old and tried friend of the Museum, a Trustee 
for twenty-eight years and first vice-president for four years, 
whose bequest was but another expression of his vital inter- 



est in all the varied activities of the Museum. His fellow- 
trustees, in a resolution that varies greatly from the 
stereotyped form, say of him: "His personal character 
was uniquely pure and noble, and he was a rare instance 
in America of a man of immense wealth and great enter- 
prises constantly increasing his vast possessions upon 
whom no breath of malicious suspicion or criticism ever 
rested." John Bigelow belonged to the City and to the 
whole country as "our foremost citizen;" he belonged, also, 
to the Museum as a valued counsellor, though the infirmities 
of years had recently prevented his active participation in its 
affairs. "A great citizen of spotless character known of all 
men," he adorned every organization with which he was con- 
nected. Francis Davis Millet, the one artist in this list, 
had endeared himself greatly to his comrades on the Board 
of Trustees during the two decades that he had been a Fellow 
and especially during the two short years of his active service 
as a Trustee. By them his untimely death on the Titanic 
in the midst of a noble career was keenly felt as an irrepar- 
able loss, even as it was by all his friends, by his profession, 
which he so loyally represented, and by his country. Such 
is the roll of Nature's gentlemen whom the Museum has lost; 
such the places that must be filled by others. 

Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke, also, whose appointment as 
Director was a satisfaction to those who knew his rare equip- 
ment for rendering a unique service to the Museum, was 
destined to perform the duties of his office less than five 
years. In the summer of 1909 he was granted a year's leave 
of absence to recuperate his failing health, but the rest proved 
in vain. On July i, 1910, his resignation as Director was 
regretfully accepted, and he was proffered the position of 
Honorary European Correspondent, which he held until his 
death on March 29, 1911. The scholarship and connois- 
seurship of Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke were of a high order 



and correspondingly valuable; his distinctive service, how- 
ever, a service no one perhaps could have performed so well, 
was to bring "the citizens of New York to a realizing sense 
of their welcome to the Museum and their participation in 
its advantages." 

On October 31, 1910, the Acting Director, Edward Robin- 
son, upon whom had devolved the actual conduct of the 
affairs of the Museum during the illness of Sir Caspar Purdon 
Clarke, was made the third Director of The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. 









I9O2-I9O4 3 


GEN. JOHN A. Dix . 







i 870- i 874 








'Deceased, March 24, 1893. 

2 Deceased, February 26, 1902. 

'Deceased, September 25, 1904. 

4 From 1870-1874 there were nine vice-presidents. 




WILLIAM COWPER PRIME . . . 1874-1891 1 







DARIUS OGDEN MILLS . . . I9o6-i9io 7 

ROBERT W. DE FOREST . . . 1909- 

JOSEPH H. CHOATE .... 1910- 



WILLIAM J. HOPPIN .... 1873-1874 

THEODORE WESTON .... 1870-1872 
RUSSELL STURGIS .... 1873-1874 

'Resigned May 25, 1891. Action deferred. 

Deceased, November 4, 1875. 

3 Deceased, August 9, 1903. 

J Became President November 21, 1904. 

5 Tendered resignation December, 1905. Laid on table. 

'Deceased, October 31, 1909. 

7 Deceased, January 3, 1910. 

s From 1870-1874 there were two secretaries, corresponding and recording. 

'Deceased, December 29, 1872. Term filled out by Theodore VVeston 




WILLIAM J. HOPPIN . . . 1874-1877* 


ROBERT W. DE FOREST . . 1904-3 


SAMUEL G. WARD . . 1870-1871 

ROBERT GORDON i87i-i872 4 


HENRY G. MARQUAND . . . 1882-1889 

SALEM H. WALES 1889-1892 

HIRAM HITCHCOCK .... 1 892-19005 


HARRIS C. FAHNESTOCK . . . 1902-1905 







'Resignation accepted June 21, 1877. General Cesnola filled out term. 

2 Deceased, November 20, 1904. 

3 Elected November 21, 1904. 

'Resignation accepted October 28, 1872. 

'Deceased, December 30, 1900. 

6 Resignation took effect September i, 1902. 

'Deceased, June 25, 1909. 

8 Deceased, November 20, 1904. 

'Deceased, March 29, 1911. 



EDWARD ROBINSON . . . 1905-1910 


Department of Paintings 

Curator Emeritus 

Department of Sculpture 

Department of Casts 

Department of Egyptian Art 

Department of Decorative Arts 

Curator of Metalwork 

Curator of Arms and Armor 


Department of Arms and Armor 

. 1886-1888 

. 1907!- 

. 1886-18962 
. 1896-1898 




. 1906-1912 


'Acting Curator, 1907-1909; Curator, 1909- 
'Deceased, July 2, 1896. 




ABBOTT, Henry, Egyptian antiqui- 
ties collected by, 39, 40 

ACADEMY, Royal. See Royal Acad- 

National Academy of Design 

American Academy of the Fine 

ADAMS, Charles Francis, United 
States minister to England, 256 

ADAMS, Edward D., treasurer of 
special committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; re- 
productions of ancient bronze 
sculptures given to Museum by, 
253; becomes trustee of Museum, 


ADAMS, John, encourages art enter- 
prise of John I . Browere, 79 

Morse sends his first statue to, 49 

ALBANY, attitude of lawmakers at, 
toward art, 7 

ALDEN, Col. Bradford R., examples 
of sixteenth and seventeenth 
century carved oak purchased 
by, 144 n., 146 

ALGER, Rev. William R., delivers 
commemorative oration at un- 
veiling of Poe Memorial, 221 

ALLEN, Theodore, suggests forma- 
tion of New York Gallery of the 
Fine Arts, 64 

ALL*STON, Washington, enrolled as 
honorary member of American 
Academy of the Fine Arts, 24; 
S. F. B. Morse studies in London 
with, 49 

AMERICA, museum for preservation 
of everything relating to history 
of, 4; S. F. B. Morse delivers 
first course of lectures on fine 
arts in, 53 

SCIENCES, Boston, establishment 
of, 8n l . 

ARTS, originated by Chancellor 
Robert R. Livingston, 7; origi- 
nal agreement of, with subscri- 
bers' names, 8; plan of, 8; entire 
scheme of, seems inflated and 
grandiose, 10; New York Acad- 
emy of the Fine Arts first sug- 
gested as name for, 10; charter 
obtained, 10; amendment of 
charter, 10; personnel of, 10; 
sets about obtaining collection 
of casts, 14; list of casts pur- 
chased by Robert R. Livingston 
for, 16; agreement between John 
Vanderlyn and, 16, 17; revival 
of, 1 8, 20, notable address of 
DeWitt Clinton before, 21, 22; 
holds exhibition of works of art, 
22, 24; by-laws of, 25, 26; 
Lawrence's full-length portrait of 
Benjamin West obtained for, 27; 
offers inducements to students, 
28; its rules for their govern- 
ment, 28, 29; Durand on failure 
of, 30, 32; dissolution of, 32; 
compelled to seek new quarters, 
32; resolutions passed by direc- 
tors of, 33, 34; fire in library of, 
34; sells portrait of Benjamin 
West, 34; its attitude toward 
Drawing Association, 46, 48 



eighth exhibition of paintings 
by, 216 

Apollo Association), origin of, 
57; Dr. John W. Francis first 
president of, 58; William Cullen 
Bryant among its later presidents, 
$8; incorporation of, 58; change 
of name, 58; plan of organization 
of, 58, 60; conducted by energet- 
ic merchants, 60; scope of, 60; 
influence of, on the progress of 
art, 61 

TECTS, 209, 210; movement to 
erect memorial to Richard Mor- 
ris Hunt joined in by, 278 

AMERICAN MUSEUM, use of name, 
6n 2 ; passes to P. T. Barnum, 6 

HISTORY, legislative act author- 
izing construction of building for, 
138; location of, 150, 151, 152^; 
the question of Sunday opening 
of, 238 et seq. 

Philadelphia, establishment of, 
8n l 

to Sunday opening of museums, 

of Sunday opening of museums, 

AMSTERDAM MUSEUM, opening of, 

ANDREWS, William Loring, appoint- 
ed on committee to promote 
establishment of museum of art 
in New York City, 116; unpacks 
art objects at new home of Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 183; distin- 
guished bibliophile and one of 
the founders of the Grolier Club, 
206; becomes first librarian, and 
later honorary librarian, of 
Metropolitan Museum, 206; 
etchings by Seymour Haden and 
Whistler presented to Museum 
by, 221 

APIS, Sacred Bull of the Egyptians, 
three mummies of, 40 

can Art Union 

to erect memorial to Richard 
Morris Hunt joined in by, 278 

CITY OF NEW YORK, formation 
of, 113 

ARNOLD, Sir Edwin, meets Heber 
R. Bishop in China, 274 

ARSENAL, or Central Park Museum, 
plaster casts of Thomas Craw- 
ford's works stored in, 41, 42; 
New York Historical Society 
wishes to use, for permanent 
gallery of art, 99 

given free tickets of admission to 
Metropolitan Museum, 174; a 
typical art school, 248; prize 
students from, enrolled in Metro- 
politan M u s e u m 's advanced 
class, 250 

ASPINWALL, William H., appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 116; one of 
first trustees of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 123 

ASTOR, John Jacob, valuable laces 
presented to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art by, 222 

ASTOR, Mrs. John Jacob, expresses 
wish that valuable laces be pre- 
sented to Metropolitan Museum, 
222; gift of laces owned by, to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

ATHENAEUM. See New York Athen- 

AUCHMUTY, Richard T., gives to 
Metropolitan Museum, rent free, 
buildings for technical school, 

AUGUSTINE, Saint, illuminated man- 
uscript of work by, presented to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

AVERY, Samuel P., art dealer and 

collector, 101; his untiring de- 
votion to the Museum, 101; 
secretary of meeting to initiate 
movement for the establishment 
of a museum of art, 104; one of 
notable supper party at Union 
League Club, 117; committee 
on projected museum of art 



meets at rooms of, 1 18; his col- 
lection of porcelain bought by 
Metropolitan Museum, 200, 201 ; 
continues his benefactions to 
Metropolitan Museum along 
many lines, 270; helps William 
H. Vanderbilt to secure rich 
collection of modern paintings, 
274; procures loan of Vanderbilt 
Collection for Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 274; death of, 280; esti- 
mate of his services, 281 

AVERY, Mrs. Samuel P., collection 
of old silver spoons presented 
to Metropolitan Museum by, 270 

AXSON, Prof. Stockton, of Princeton 
University, lectures to high 
school teachers at Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 308 

BAKER, Gardiner, custodian of 
Tammany Museum, 5; secures 
full-length portrait of Washing- 
ton by Stuart, 5; death of, 5, 6 

BAKER, George A., portrait painter, 
101; one of notable supper party 
at Union League Club, 1 17 

BAKER, George F., member of spe- 
cial committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; 
becomes trustee of Museum, 253 

BARLOW, Samuel Latham Mitchell, 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, 1 16; 
member of first executive com- 
mittee of Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, 123 

BARNARD, Frederick A. P., LL. D., 
vice-president of meeting to 
initiate movement for the estab- 
lishment of a museum of art, 
104; appointed to investigate 
charges brought against Cesnola 
collection of Cypriote antiqui- 
ties, 222 

BARNARD, George Grey, American 
sculptor, cast of work by, made 
in moulding department of Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 268 

BARNUM, Phineas Taylor, American 
Museum passes to, 6, 78; Peale's 
Museum and Gallery of the Fine 
Arts absorbed by, 78; provides 
varied kinds of entertainment in 

New York, 78; his museum de- 
stroyed by fire, 78 

BARRINGTON, Mrs. E. I., work of, on 
catalogue of Watts loan exhibi- 
tion, 215 

BEAMAN, C. C, acts in favor of 
Sunday opening of Museum, 244 

BEECHER, Henry Ward, American 
Congregational clergyman and 
orator, statue of, by J. Q. A. 
Ward, 101 

BEGUINES, sixteenth and seven- 
teenth century carved oak from 
convent of, 14472. 

BELGIUM, public collections of art 
in, 108 

Hosack founder of institution 
afterward known as, 10 

BELLOWS, Henry W., D.D., pastor 
of All Souls' Church, 84; attends 
meeting to initiate movement 
for the establishment of a mu- 
seum of art, 104; speaks in favor 
of the project, 114, 115; one of 
notable supper party at Union 
League Club; 117; on need of 
men of faith and prevision, 121, 

BENNETT, James Gordon, blunt 
reply of, to request for favorable 
press notice, 64; site of Barnum's 
museum purchased by, 78 

BENSON, Egbert, first president of 
New York Historical Society, 36 

BIGELOW, John, minister of the 
United States to France, 100; 
contributes to library of Metro- 
politan Museum a collection of 
books relating to Benjamin 
Franklin, 208; individual flavor 
of his correspondence, 213; 
views of, on Sunday opening of 
Museum, 243; our foremost 
citizen, 319; a valued counsellor 
to the Museum, 319; adorned 
every organization with which 
he was connected, 319 

BIRNIE-PHILIP, Rosalind, executrix 
of James Abbott McNeill Whist- 
ler, 299 

BISHOP, Heber R., contributes en- 
dowment fund to library of 
Metropolitan Museum, 207, 208; 
transfers to Metropolitan Mu- 



seum his extensive collection of 
jade, 273, 280; provides for 
construction and equipment of 
room for its display, 273; directs 
that preparation of catalogue be 
continued, 273, 274; banker and 
director in many railroad com- 
panies, 280; trustee of Metro- 
politan Museum, 280; death of, 

BITTER, Karl, facade of East Wing 
of Metropolitan Museum en- 
riched with medallions and 
caryatids designed by, 276 

BLACKBORNE, Thomas, collection of 
laces formed by, purchased for 
Metropolitan Museum, 313 

BLAND, Thomas, assistant secretary 
of Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
1 80 

BLODGETT, William Tilden, lends 
works of art to fair in aid of 
United States Sanitary Commis- 
sion, 90, 91 ; appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establishment 
of museum in New York City, 
116; member of first executive 
committee of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 123; his gift to the 
Museum, 133; two collections 
of paintings purchased for Mu- 
seum by, 136, 137; letters of 
John Taylor Johnston to, 144- 
148; contributes to Metropolitan 
Museum's loan exhibition, 166 

BLODGETT, Mrs. William T., serves 
on Committee of Fine Arts of 
Metropolitan Fair, 91 

BLOOR, Alfred J., secretary of meet- 
ing to initiate movement for 
establishing a museum of art, 
104; his reminiscences of the 
meeting and of William Cullen 
Bryant's address, 106; further 
reminiscences, 117; appointed 
member of commission on pur- 
chase of casts, 210 

BOGERT, John G., member of Amer- 
ican Academy of the Fine Arts, 

BOKER, John G., establishes Diissel- 
dorf Gallery, 86 

BOLLES, H. Eugene, collectio r ^f 
American furniture and ^ora- 
tive arts made by, 311, 312 

BONAPARTE, Napoleon, Emperor of 
the French, honorary member of 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 13; David's picture of 
coronation of, 27; his gift to 
Academy destroyed by fire, 34 

BOOTH, Edwin, American tragedian, 
makes speech of presentation at 
unveiling of Poe Memorial, 221 

BOOTH, Mary L., description of New 
York Crystal Palace by, 89, 90 

by Metropolitan Museum, 273 

hibition of pictures at, 192; 
doors of, open to public on Sun- 
day, 242 

BOUGUEREAU, Adolphe William, 
French painter, 91, 190 

BOYDELL. See Inmait 

BRADISH, Luther, agreement trans- 
ferring art collection signed by, 


BRECK, George W., recipient of 
Lazarus scholarship, 250 

BRETON, Jules, French painter, 91 

BRIGGS, Charles F., attends meeting 
to initiate movement for the es- 
tablishment of a museum of art, 

BRISTED, Charles Astor, celebrates 
"artists' punch" in song, 124 

BRITISH MUSEUM, offers of, for part 
of Cesnola Collection, 155; for 
Curium Treasure, 172; depart- 
mental organization of, suggests 
that adopted by Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 218, 219 

dents of, given free tickets of 
admission to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 174 

BROOKS, James, attends meeting to 
initiate movement for the estab- 
lishment of a museum of art, 104 

BROWERE, John I., gallery of busts 
and statues established by, 78, 


BROWN, John Crosby, treasurer of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
318; trustee of Museum for 
fourteen consecutive years, 318; 
elder in Madison Square Pres- 
byterian Church, 318; trustee of 
Columbia University, 318; presi- 



dent of Union Theological Semi- 
nary, 318 

BROWN, Mrs. John Crosby, presents 
collection of musical instruments 
to Metropolitan Museum 254. 


BROWN, Walter, appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establishment 
of museum in New York City, 

BROWN, William Adams, classifies 
and catalogues collection of musi- 
cal instruments presented by his 
mother to Metropolitan Museum, 

BRYAN, Thomas J., presents collec- 
tion of pictures to New York 
Historical Society, 43, 44, 72; 
sketch of, 44; Richard Grant 
White's estimate of his pictures, 

44- 45 

BRYANT, \Villiam CuIIen, American 
poet, delivers lectures before 
students of National Academy of 
Design, 52; his interest in the 
Academy, 52, 53; president of 
the Apollo Association, 58; meets 
American artists at house of 
Luman Reed, 64; trustee of New 
York Gallery of the Fine Arts, 
64; member of the Sketch Club, 
84; president of meeting to in- 
itiate movement for the estab- 
lishment of a museum of art, 104; 
appropriateness of his selection 
as presiding officer, 106; his 
address, 106 el seq.; relates anec- 
dote of Samuel Rogers the Eng- 
lish poet, 112; one of notable 
supper party at Union League 
Club, 1 17; one of first two vice- 
presidents of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 123 

BULL, William L., acts in favor of 
Sunday opening of Museum, 244 

BURR, Aaron, Vice-President of the 
United States, actively cooper- 
ates in organizing American 
Academy of the Fine Arts, 8; 
aids the artist Vanderlyn, 16 

BUTLER, Charles, appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, i 16 

BUTLER, Richard, appointed on 

committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 16 

CABANEL, Alexandre, French paint- 
er, portrait of Catharine Loril- 
lard Wolfe by, 2 1 1 

CALVERLEY, Charles, upholds au- 
thenticity of statues in Cesnola 
collection of Cypriote antiqui- 
ties, 224 

CANNON, Legrand B., appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 16 

CANOVA, Antonio, Italian sculptor, 
enrolled as honorary member of 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 24 

CARRERE & HASTINGS, Messrs., in- 
trusted with construction of 
room for exhibition of Bishop 
collection of jade, 273 

CARTER, Mrs. Robert, principal of 
Cooper Union School of Design 
for Women, 73 

CASTELLANI, Alessandro, collections 
of, exhibited by Metropolitan 
Museum, 166, 167 

phia, Castellani Collections ex- 
hibited at, 167; awakens appre- 
ciation of art throughout coun- 
try, 170 

Sunday opening of museums, 239 

CENTRAL PARK, New York, plan to 
establish public museum and art 
gallery in, 40, 41 ; Calvert V'aux 
and Frederick Law Olmsted pre- 
sent successful plan for laying 
out of, 153 


to erect memorial to Richard 
Morris Hunt joined in by, 278 

CENTURY CLUB, an offshoot, not a 
successor of, the Sketch Club, 85 ; 
committee on projected museum 
of art meets at rooms of, 118 

CPSNOLA, General Louis Palma di, 
tter of John Jay to, on founda- 
tu. jf an art gallery, 100; Cyp- 
riote collection of, 112, 153; 



Hiram Hitchcock's lecture on 
discoveries of, in Cyprus, 1 50; 
by birth an Italian nobleman, by 
choice an American citizen, 153; 
serves in Civil War, 153; ap- 
pointed consul of United Statesat 
Cyprus, 153; begins excavations 
there, 153; purchase of his col- 
lection, 153, 155; correspondence 
between John Taylor Johnston 
and, 154, 155; his long term of 
service in the Museum, 156; 
further excavations at Cyprus 
by, 171 ; his work forthemuseum, 
180, 181; appointed director, 
18 1 ; packs art objects for trans- 
fer to new home of Museum, 183; 
executive ability and industry 
of, 218; makes thorough study 
of organization of various Euro- 
pean museums, 218; attacks 
upon authenticity of Cypriote 
antiquities purchased by Metro- 
politan Museum from, 222 ft 
seq., vindication of, 224, 225; 
report of, on Sunday attendance 
at Museum, 244; Prof. Augustus 
C. Merriam's letter to, on co- 
operation of Columbia Univer- 
sity and Metropolitan Museum, 
250; acknowledges help received 
from Cyrus W. Field, 256; 
speaks at banquet on opening 
of new wing of Metropolitan 
Museum, 266; receives congrat- 
ulations on Museum's largest 
bequest, 272; death of, 280; 
estimate of his services, 281-283 

by Metropolitan Museum to, 

CHIPIEZ, Charles, casts made for 
Metropolitan Museum under 
direction of, 211 

CHOATE, Joseph Hodges, American 
lawyer, orator, and diplomatist, 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, 116; 
one of first executive committee 
of Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
123; on first collection of paint- 
ings purchased for the Museum, 
137; address of, at opening of 
new home of Metropolitan Mu- 

seum, 183, 196, 198, 199, 200; 
counsel for General Cesnola in 
libel suit brought against him, 
224; in favor of Sunday opening 
of Metropolitan Museum, 238; 
presides at banquet on opening 
of new wing of Museum, 266 

CHOATE, Mrs. Joseph H., member of 
advisory council of Cooper Union 
School of Design for Women, 72 

CHURCH, Frederic E., appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 116; one of first 
executive committee of Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 123; 
contributes to Museum's loan 
exhibition, 166 

doors to the public on Sunday, 

CIVIL \\ AR, movement to establish 
permanent gallery of art in New 
York at close of, 99 

CLARKE, Sir Caspar Purdon, elected 
director of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 292; his marked 
executive ability, 292, 293; his 
expert knowledge of art, 293; 
unusually equipped to win 
friends for the Museum, 293; 
reception tendered to, 293; mem- 
ber of Sub-committee on Art 
Exhibits of Hudson-Fulton Com- 
mission, 298; granted leave of 
absence to recuperate failing 
health, 319; his resignation as 
director of Museum regretfully 
accepted, 319; accepts position 
of honorary European correspon- 
dent, 319; death of, 319; his 
scholarship and connoisseurship 
of a high order, 319; his distinct- 
ive service to the Museum, 320 

CLARKE, J. Edwards, congratulates 
General Cesnola on Museum's 
largest bequest, 272 

CLAUSEN, George C., at exercises 
on opening of new wing of Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 266 

CLINTON, DeWitt, extract from ad- 
dress by, 8 n. 1 ; director of Ameri- 
can Academy of the Fine Arts, 
10; mayor of New York City and 
governor of New York State, 10; 



revival of American Academy of 
the Fine Arts largely through 
influence of, 18; resigns presi- 
dency of the Academy, 21; de- 
livers notable address, 21, 22; 
letter of S. F. B. Morse to, 30, 46; 
founder of New York Historical 
Society, 36; memorable letter of 
John Pintard to, 36, 38 

CLINTON, George, Vice-President of 
the United States, residence of, 

CLUNY MUSEUM, Paris, illustrates 
applied arts of middle ages, 1 19 

GOLDEN, Cadwallader D., American 
lawyer, active worker for the 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 10, 13; at head of his pro- 
fession as commercial lawyer, 1 3 ; 
succeeds DeWitt Clinton as 
mayor of New York, 13; peti- 
tions Corporation of New York 
in behalf of John Vanderlyn, 83 

COLE, C. C., advocates loan collec- 
tion as part of projected museum, 

114, 131 

COLE, Thomas, member of Drawing 
Association, 45, 46; William 
Cullen Bryant delivers eulogy 
on, 52; prize painting by, 60; 
enriched by commissions and 
friendship of Luman Reed, 62; 
assists in interior decoration of 
Luman Reed's house, 64; Met- 
ropolitan Museum exhibits 
paintings by, 166 

COLES, Elizabeth U., collection of 
tapestries, vases, statuary, and 
paintings, and fund of |2o,ooo, 
left by, to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 255, 256 

COLGATE, James B., appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 16 

COLMAN, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel, pre- 
sent collection of Japanese and 
Chinese pottery to Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 255 

COLUMBIA COLLEGE (later Univer- 
sity), Dr. David Hosack profes- 
sor of botany at, 10; S. F. B. 
Morse addresses students of 
National Academy of Design in 
chapel of, 52; cooperation with 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
250,251; liberality of Samuel P. 
A very to, 281 


behalf of New York as location 

for, 257-259; goes to Chicago, 




COLVIN, Sidney, expresses regret 
that Cesnola Collection should 
go to America, 1 56 
COLYER, Vincent, American painter, 


COMFORT, Prof. George Fiske, in- 
timately connected with incep- 
tion of Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 90; speaks in favor of es- 
tablishing a museum of art, 102, 
112, 113; appointed on commit- 
tee to promote establishment of 
museumof art in New York City, 
1 16; one of notable supper party 
at Union League Club, 1 17; his 
helpful letter to George P. Put- 
nam, 119, 120; member of first 
executive committee of Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 123; 
recalls interesting incident of 
early history of Museum, 1 38, 

COMMON COUNCIL, New York, mem- 
orial of literary societies laid 
before, 38; its reply, 38 
CONGRESS HALL, Morse's picture of, 

6. 3 

AND SCIENCES, establishment of, 
Sn. 1 
CONSTABLE, John, English painter, 


COOK, Clarence, attack by, upon 
authenticity of statues in Ces- 
nola collection of Cypriote anti- 
quities, 223 

COOPER, James Fenimore, letter of 
S. F. B. Morse to, 6, 7; meets 
American artists at house of Lu- 
man Reed, 64 

COOPER, Peter, American inventor, 
manufacturer, and philanthro- 
pist, dominating purpose of, 68; 
his early education, 68; buys 
property on which Cooper 
Union stands, 68; founds first 



institution in this country for 
free education of the working 
classes, 68; quotation from his 
letter to the trustees, 68, 70; 
trust deed executed by, and 
Sarah his wife, 70; his serene old 
age, 73; his beneficence appre- 
ciated, 73; supervises the insti- 
tution until his death, 73; his 
plan for a museum in connection 
with Cooper Union, 73, 74 

TUTE), Bryan collection of pic- 
tures deposited temporarily in, 
44; development of industrial 
art by, 54; name of Peter Cooper 
contributes to interest in, 68; 
first institution in this country 
for free education of the working 
classes, 68; extract from Peter 
Cooper's letter to trustees of, 
68, 70; trust deed of, executed by 
Peter Cooper and Sarah his wife, 
70; extracts from charter of, 
70, 71, 72; its night art classes, 
71; free gallery of art in, 71, 72; 
its School of Design for Women, 
72, 73, 92; supervised by Peter 
Cooper until his death, 73; es- 
tablishment of museum in con- 
nection with, 73-75; Metropoli- 
tan Museum's paintings tempo- 
rarily stored in, 143; students 
of, given free tickets of admission 
to Metropolitan Museum, 174 

COPLEY, John Singleton, American 
historical painter, exhibition of 
colonial portraits by, 299 

ington, picture of Congress Hall 
by Morse now in possession of, 
6 n. 3 ; marble Napoleon from 
John Taylor Johnston collection 
now exhibited in, 146 .; gives 
series of photographs to Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 173 

COROT, Jean Baptiste Camille, 
French painter, 192 

CORRIGAN, Michael Augustine, 
Archbishop of New York, 266, 268 

establishment and purposes of, 
88 n. 

COUTURE, Thomas, French painter, 


Cox, Kenyon, American painter' 
lectures to high school teachers 
at Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

COZZENS, A. M., lends works of art 
to fair in aid of United States 
Sanitary Commission, 90, 91 

CRAWFORD, Louisa W., presents 
plaster casts of Thomas Craw- 
ford's works to New York City, 
41, 42 

CRAWFORD, Thomas, plaster casts of 
works of, stored in Arsenal, 41 , 42 

CRUGER, Mrs. Douglas, Metropoli- 
tan Museum's second home in 
mansion of, 161, 162 

York, history of, 89, 90 

CULLUM, George W., bequest of, to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
252, 253 

CUMMINGS, Thomas Seir, chronicler 
of history of American Academy 
ofthe Fine Arts, 27, 28; historian 
of Drawing Association, 45; on 
lectures of William Cullen Bry- 
ant before students of National 
Academy of Design, 52 ; trustee 
of New York Gallery of the Fine 
Arts, 64 

CURIUM TREASURE, discovery of, by 
General Cesnola, 172; foreign 
offers for, 1 72 

CURTIS, George William, American 
journalist, author, and orator, 
sends letter of good wishes for 
projected museum of art, 115; 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, 116; 
congratulatory letter from, on 
vindication of director of Metro- 
politan Museum, 225 

CUTTING, William, director of Amer- 
ican Academy of the Fine Arts, 

QUITIES, Cyrus W. Field's in- 
terest in purchase of, 256 

CYPRUS, General Cesnola's excava- 
tions at, 153, 171; art and 
civilization of, 225 

DALY, Hon. Charles P., appointed 
to investigate charges brought 

33 6 


against Cesnola collection of 
Cypriote antiquities, 222 

DAVID, Jacques Louis, coronation of 
Napoleon painted by, 27 

DAVIS, Alexander J., last secretary 
of American Academy of the 
Fine Arts, 32, 34 

DE CIVITATE DEI, by Saint Augus- 
tine, illuminated manuscript of, 


Robert R. Livingston one of five 
to draft the, 13 

de FOREST, Robert W., vice-chair- 
man of special committee on 
casts for Metropolitan Museum, 
252; secretary of Board of 
Trustees of Museum, 289; his 
deep interest in Museum's af- 
fairs, 289; second vice-president 
of Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
289; has given his time and 
energy unstintingly to the af- 
fairs of the Museum, 289, 290; 
chairman of Sub-committee on 
Art Exhibits of Hudson-Fulton 
Commission, 298 

de FOREST, Mrs. Robert W., in- 
strumental in procuring for Mu- 
seum gifts of rare examples of 
lacemaker's art, 312 

DELAROCHE, Paul, French painter, 

della ROBBIA, Luca. See Robbia 

DEL SARTO, Andrea. See Sarto 

DENON, Vivant, French archaeolo- 
gist and diplomatist, 13 

DEPEW, Chauncey Mitchell, speaks, 
at banquet on opening of new 
wing of Metropolitan Museum, 

DESIGN, National Academy of. See 

DETMOLD, C. E., appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establishment 
of museum of art in New York 
City, 116; one of first trustees of 
Metropolitan Museum, 123 

illustrates application of art to 
industry, i 19 

DIAZ, Narcisse, French painter, 

DIELMAN, Frederick, director of 
Cooper Union School of Design 

for Women, 73; academician of 
National Academy of Design, 73 

Dix, General John A., appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 16; one of first two 
vice-presidents of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 123 

DODGE, William E. (1805-1883), 
bequest of, to Metropolitan 
Museum, 271 

DODGE, William E., Jr. (1832-1903), 
vice-president of meeting to in- 
itiate movement for the estab- 
lishment of a museum of art, 104; 
sends letter of good wishes, i i -, : 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, nO; 
supplements his father's gift to 
Metropolitan Museum, 271; a 
merchant of extensive business 
interests, 280; trustee of Metro- 
poluan Museum, 280; chairman 
of Executive Committee of Mu- 
seum, 280; death of, 280 

York Drawing Association. 

DREXEL, Joseph W., ancient musi- 
cal instruments presented to 
Metropolitan Museum by, 221; 
trustee and patron of Metropoli- 
tan Museum, death of, 254; 
disposition of his art collections, 

DREXEL, Lucy W., gifts of, to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

254. 255 

DUN, R. G., bequeaths all or any 
part of his collection of pictures 
to Metropolitan Museum, 270 

DUNLAP, William, American painter 
and author, list of casts given by, 
1 6; chronicler of history of Amer- 
ican Academy of the Fine Arts, 
27, 28; member of Drawing 
Association, 45, 46 

DUPRE, Jules, French painter, 192 

DURAND, Asher Brown, member of 
New York Drawing Association, 
45; fine engravings by, 57; en- 
riched by commissions and 
friendship of Luman Reed, 62; 
assists in interior decoration of 
Luman Reed's house, 64 



DLRAND, John, analysis of character 
of the painter Trumbull by, 14; 
on failure of American Academy 
of the Fine Arts, 30, 32; agree- 
ment transferring art collection 
signed by, 38,39; on the influence 
of the American Art Union. 61, 
62; on the membership of the 
Sketch Club. 84 

DLRKEE, Joseph H.. interesting 
collection of ancient coins be- 
queathed to .Metropolitan Mu- 
seum by, 270 

DLRR, Louis, bequeaths collection 
of paintings to New York His- 
torical Society, 43 

ment of, 86; catalogue of, 86, 87; 
Elihu Yedder on, 87, 88; its his- 
tory, 88; sale of, 88. 89 

EGGLESTON, George Gary, acts on 
behalf of New York World in 
favor of opening Museum on 
Sunday, 244 

EGLESTON, Prof. Thomas, task of 
forming collection of industrial 
art assigned to, 201, 202 

EGYPT, Khedive of. See Khedive 

EGYPT, marbles from old civilization 
of. 232 

lection of. secured for New York 
Historical Society, 39 

ELLIN, Robert, upholds authenticity 
of statues in Cesnola collection 
of Cypriote antiquities. 224 

ELLIS, A. Yan Home, collection of 
arms and armor received by 
Metropolitan Museum from, 269, 

ELLIS, John S., collection of arms 
and armor brought together by, 
269, 270 

ELLIS, Mrs. John S., collection of 
arms and armor received by 
Metropolitan Museum from, 269, 

ENGLAND, treasures of art in, 108; 
pictures epitomizing dramatic 
history of, 233 

ERIE CANAL, celebration of opening 
of, 10 

EVARTS, Allen \Y., counsel for 
General Cesnola in libel suit 
brought against him. 224 

PAGAN, Louis, Keeper of Prints in 
British Museum, lectures in New 
York, 25 1 

FAILE, Thomas H., treasurer of New 
York Gallery of the Fine Arts. 
64; furnishes financial backing to 
the Gallery, 67 

FARQUHAR, Captain, casts stowed 
away in obscurity in store of, 18 

FERGUSON, John, petitions Corpora- 
tion of New York in behalf of 
John \ anderlyn, 83 

FEUARDENT, Gaston L., attack by, 
upon authenticity of Cesnola 
collection of Cypriote antiqui- 
ties, 222; brings libel suit 
against General Cesnola. 224 

FIELD, Benjamin H., appointed on 
committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 1 16 

FIELD, Cyrus \Yest, founder of At- 
lantic Cable Company, offers 
liberal sum toward raising 
amount paid for Cesnola Collec- 
tion, 1 56; presents to Metropoli- 
tan Museum his collection of 
objects associated with laying of 
Atlantic cable. 256; his interest 
in purchaseof Cesnola Collection, 
256; General Cesnola's acknowl- 
edgment of his services, 256 

FIELD, Osgood, bequeaths varied 
list of works of art to Metropoli- 
tan Museum, 270 

FIELD, William B. Osgood. generous 
offer of, to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 270, 271 

FINE ARTS, American Academy of 
the. See American Academy of 
the Fine Arts 

FISCHBACH, Friedrich.of Wiesbaden, 
collection of textiles formed by, 
acquired by Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 3 i 3 

FISH, Hamilton, member of Sketch 
Club and president of New York 
Historical Society, 84 

FITCH, Ashbel P., at exercises on 
opening of new wing of Metro- 
politan Museum, 266 

FLAGG, George \\ ., American paint- 
er, assists in decorating home 
of Luman Reed, 64; nephew of 
Washington Allston, 66 



FRANCE, Chancellor Livingston 
brings Gobelin tapestries from, 
8; treasures of art in, 108; out- 
break of war between Prussia 
and, 136; pictures epitomizing 
dramatic history of, 233 

FRANCIS, Dr. John \V., gives de- 
tailed account of Indian relics in 
Tammany Museum, 4; long 
actively interested in welfare of 
art, 58; becomes first president 
of Apollo Association, 58 

FRANKLIN, Benjamin, bust of, by 
Houdon, 79; books relating to, 
given by John Bigelow to librarj- 
of Metropolitan Museum, 208; 
objects connected with, pre- 
sented to Museum by William 
H. Huntington, 208 

FRENCH, Daniel Chester, upholds 
authenticity of statues in Ces- 
nola collection of Cypriote anti- 
quities, 224; chosen as sculptor 
of memorial to Richard Morris 
Hunt, 278; chairman of commit- 
tee to arrange memorial exhibi- 
tion of works of Augustus Saint- 
Gaudens, 297 

FRENCH, Edwin Davis, invitations 
designed and engraved by, 266; 
excellent work of, represented in 
Museum Library's book-plates, 

FULTON, Robert, director of Ameri- 
can Academy of the Fine Arts, 8; 
death of, 8; Chancellor Living- 
ston interested with, in develop- 
ing plan of steam navigation, 13; 
eulogy by DeWitt Clinton on, 22 

New York Gallery of the Fine 

GARLAND, James A., American 
banker, patron of art, and con- 
noisseur, 278; places valuable 
collection of ancient Chinese 
porcelain on exhibition at Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 279; death of, 

GERMANICUS, drawings executed 

from statue of, 29 
GEROME, Jean Leon, French painter, 

91, 190 
GHENT, examples of sixteenth and 

seventeenth century carved oak 
from, 144 n. 

painter, 166 

GIFFORD, R. Swain, director of 
Cooper Union School of Design 
for Women, 73; academician of 
National Academy of Design, 73 

GIFFORD, Sandford R., appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, i 17 

GLADSTONE, William Ewart, British 
statesman, financier, and orator, 
156; General Cesnola introduced 
to, by Cyrus W. Field, 256 

Livingston's home at Clermont 
decorated with, 8 

GODKIN, Edwin Lawrence, American 
journalist and author, congratu- 
latory letter from, on vindication 
of director of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 225 

GODWIN, Parke, proposes exhibition 
of New York's private collec- 
tions of art, 170, 171; speaks at 
banquet on opening of new wing 
of Metropolitan Museum, 266 

GOLGOS, sculptures and inscriptions 
of, 155 

GOODE, George Brown, on the es- 
tablishment of museums, 7 n. 

GOODYEAR, William Henry, Ameri- 
can connoisseur, appointed cura- 
tor of Department of Paintings 
in Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

GORDON, Robert, appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establish- 
ment of museum in New York 
City, 117; one of first executive 
committee of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 123; offers liberal 
sum toward raising amount paid 
for Cesnola Collection, 1 56 

GORRINGE, Lieutenant-Commander, 
U. S. N., brings obelisk from 
Egypt to Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, 220; presents to Museum 
two antique bronze crabs, 220 

GOTHA MUSEUM, remarkable collec- 
tion of casts of coins in, 1 10 

GOULD, Helen Miller, presents 



Murch collection of Egyptian 
antiquities to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 3 12 

GRANT, Hugh J., as mayor of New 
York, appoints committees for 
preliminary work of proposed 
Columbian Exposition, 257; let- 
ter to, on projected Exposition, 

GRANVILLE, Earl, introduction of 
General Cesnola to, by Cyrus 
W. Field, 256 

GREECE, marbles from old civiliza- 
tion of, 232 

GREEN, Andrew H., vice-president 
of meeting to initiate movement 
for the establishment of a 
museum of art, 104; appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum in New 
York City, 117; conceives plan 
of Central Park, 118 n.; one of 
first trustees of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 123; his idea of 
art museum erected and equipped 
by Park Commission, 153 

GRISCOM, John, highly esteemed 
Quaker physician, 20 n* 

GRISWOLD, George, appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 17 

GROLIER CLUB, New York, 206 

HAIGHT, R. K., presents Flora of 
Thomas Crawford to New York 
City, 42 

HALL, G. Stanley, President of 
Clark University, lectures to 
high school teachers at Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 308 

HALL, Prof. Isaac H., curator of 
Department of Sculpture in 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
219; attainments and faithful 
service of, 220; liberal contri- 
butor to welfare of Museum, 220; 
acknowledged leader of Ameri- 
can scholars in Syriac language 
and literature, 220 

HALL, Rev. Dr. John, at exercises 
on opening new building of 
Metropolitan Museum, 231 

HALL, John H., appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establishment 

of museum of art in New York 
City, 1 17 

HALLECK, Fitz-Greene, American 
poet, humorous quotations from, 
20, 76 

HALS, Frans, Dutch painter, loan 
exhibition of pictures by, in 
connection with Hudson-Fulton 
Celebration, 298 

HAMLIN, Prof. A. D. T., lectures in 
New York under auspices of 
Metropolitan Museum and Col- 
umbia University, 251 

HANEY, Dr. James P., appointed to 
investigate feasibility of coop- 
eration of school authorities with 
Metropolitan Museum, 308 

HAYES, Rutherford Birchard, nine- 
teenth President of the United 
States, at exercises on opening of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 196 

HEARN, George A., gifts and loans 
by, to Department of Paintings 
of Metropolitan Museum, 270; 
member of Sub-committee on 
Art Exhibits of Hudson-Fulton 
Commission, 298; his noteworthy 
munificence toward contempor- 
ary American art, 314 

HELIOPOLIS, original site of obelisk 
now in Central Park, New York, 


HENRY IV, Chancellor Livingston 
secures portrait of, 8 

HERCULANEUM, bronze sculptures 
found in villa at, 253 

HERRING, James, portrait painter, 
origin of Apollo Association due 
to, 57; opens the Apollo Gallery, 
57, 58. See Longacre 

HEWITT, Abram Stevens, American 
statesman, presents collection of 
casts to Cooper Union Museum, 
74; at exercises on opening new 
building of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 231, 232; in favor of Sun- 
day opening of Museum, 236 

HEWITT, Mrs. Abram, member of 
advisory council of Cooper Union 
School of Design for Women, 72; 
presents collection of casts to 
Cooper Union Museum, 74 

HEWITT, Frederick C., makes large 
gift to Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 315 



York Historical Library 

Historical Society 

HITCHCOCK, Hiram, lecture of, on 
General Cesnola's discoveries in 
Cyprus, 1 50; last of original mem- 
bers of firm that opened Fifth 
Avenue Hotel, 278; term of serv- 
ice as Museum trustee, 279; 
helps in effecting purchase of 
Cypriote antiquities by Museum, 
279; acts as treasurer for many 
years, 279; a man of remarkable 
decision and firmness of char- 
acter, 279 

HITCHCOCK, Roswell D., appointed 
to investigate charges brought 
against Cesnola collection of 
Cypriote antiquities, 223 

HOE, Robert, art collector and 
patron of Metropolitan Museum, 
92; appointed on committee to 
promote establishment of mu- 
seum of art in New York City, 
1 17; one of first executive com- 
mittee of Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, 123; contributes to Mu- 
seum's loan collection, 166; offers 
to furnish photographs of objects 
in Museum at his own expense, 
173; chairman of Committee on 
Art Schools of Metropolitan 
Museum, 204 

HOENTSCHEL, Georges, distinguished 
architect of Paris, collects objects 
of French decorative art, 310 

HOLLAND, public collections of art 
in, 108 

HOMER, Winslow, American painter, 
memorial exhibition of works of, 

HOPPIN, Uilliam J., vice-president 
of meeting to initiate movement 
for the establishment of a mu- 
seum of art, 104; urges coopera- 
tion with the Historical Society, 
115; appointed on committee to 
promote establishment of mu- 
seum of art in New York City, 
i 17; one of first trustees of Met- 
ropolitan Museum of Art, 123 

HOSACK, David, director of Ameri- 
can Academy of the Fine Arts, 
10; practitioner, teacher, and 

writer on medical and scientific 
subjects, 10; gives financial aid 
to American Academy of the 
Fine Arts, 18, 20; directors of 
Academy enter into contract 
with, 32, 33; founder of New 
York Historical Society, 36 

HOUDON, Jean Antoine, French 
sculptor, busts of famous 
Americans by, 79 

HOWLAND, ex-Judge, acts in favor of 
Sunday opening of Museum, 


loan exhibition of paintings and 
industrial arts held in connection 
with, 298 

HUNT, Richard Howland, succeeds 
his father as architect to Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 276 

HUNT, Richard Morris, American 
architect, vice-president of meet- 
ing to initiate movement for the 
establishment of a museum of 
art, 104; pledges help of Ameri- 
can Institute of Architects, 113; 
appointed on committee to 
promote establishment of mu- 
seum of art in New York City, 
117; one of first executive com- 
mittee of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 123; report on 
plans of Museum signed by, 
176; contributes architectural 
casts to Metropolitan Museum, 
201; plan of new extension and 
general scheme of all future ad- 
ditions to Metropolitan Museum 
intrusted to, 276; death of, 276, 
278; movement to erect mem- 
orial to, 278; dedication of mem- 
orial, 278 

HUNT, William Morris, American 
painter, exhibition of pictures by, 

HUNTINGTON, Daniel, picture of 
Congress Hall by Morse becomes 
property of, 6 w. 3 ; serves on Com- 
mittee of Fine Arts of Metropoli- 
tan Fair, 91; vice-president of 
meeting to initiate movement for 
the establishment of a museum 
of art, 104; appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establishment 
of museum of art in New York 



City, 1 17; William C. Prime sits 
to, for portrait, 245^. 

HUNTINGTON, William H., books 
relating to Benjamin Franklin 
gathered by, 208; collection of 
objects connected with Wash- 
ington, Lafayette, and Franklin 
presented to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum by, 208 

HUTCHINS, H. Gordon, assistant 
superintendent of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 180;;. 

INDEPENDENCE, Declaration of. 
See Declaration 

INGHAM, C. C., member of New 
York Drawing Association, 45, 
46; Sketch Club inaugurated at 
suggestion of, 84 

INMAN, Henry, member of Drawing 
Association, 45; relatives of stu- 
dent of, give scholarship to Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 249 

INMAN, John (pseudonym Boydell), 
writings of, 46 

86; a short-lived enterprise, 86 

IRVING, Washington, American his- 
torian, essayist, and novelist, 
meets American artists at house 
of Luman Reed, (14 

ITALY, inheritor of glorious produc- 
tions of her own artists, 108; 
American artists swarm in, 109; 
pictures epitomizing dramatic 
history of, 233 


JACQUE, Charles Emile, French 
painter and etcher, 192 

JAMESON, Mrs., paper by, 60 

JARVES, James Jackson, collection 
of old Venetian glass presented 
to Metropolitan Museum by, 
221; congratulatory letter from, 
on vindication of Museum's 
director, 225 

JARVIS, John Wesley, brilliant but 
erratic painter, 18 

JAY, John (1745-1829), American 
statesman and jurist, residence 
of, 1 8 

JAY, John (1817-1894), initiates 
movement to establish a museum 
of art, 99, 100; writes to General 
Cesnola on foundation of an art 

gallery, 100; elected president of 
Union League Club, 101; ap- 
pointed United States ambassa- 
dor to Austria, 103; at exer- 
cises on opening new building of 
Metropolitan Museum, 231 

JEFFERSON, Thomas, third President 
of the United States, encourages 
art enterprise of John I. Browere, 
79; bust of, by Houdon, 79 

JESUP, Morris K., contributes to 
loan exhibition of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 166; opposed to 
Sunday opening of museums, 239 

JOHNSON, Eastman, American 
painter, one of first executive 
committee of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of art, 123; exhibition of 
his work by Museum, 190 

JOHNSON, J. Augustus, donates 
sarcophagus to Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 146, 147 

JOHNSTON, John Taylor, American 
business man and philanthropist, 
lends works of art to fair in aid 
of United States Sanitary Com- 
mission, 90, 91; appointed on 
committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum 01 art in 
New York City, 1 16; first presi- 
dent of Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 123, 124; his gift to the 
Museum, 133; assists William 
T. Blodgett in purchasing two 
collections of paintings for the 
Museum, 136 ,137; letters of, to 
William T. Blodgett, 144-148; 
offers $50,000 for Cesnola col- 
lection of Cypriote antiquities, 
153, 154; correspondence be- 
tween General Cesnola and, i 54, 
155; contributes to Metropolitan 
Museum's loan exhibition, 166; 
purchases further antiquities 
from General Cesnola, 172; re- 
ception and luncheon at home of, 
on opening day of Museum, 194; 
at exercises on opening of Mu- 
seum, 196; elected Honorary 
President for Life by trustees of 
Metropolitan Museum, 233; pro- 
vision for Italian Renaissance 
casts made by, and his children, 

JOHNSTON, Margaret Taylor, classi- 



fication of laces by, in Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 312; 
enthusiastic interest and untiring 
industry of, 312 

JOLY, A., casts made for Metropoli- 
tan Museum by, 21 1 

JONES, John Paul, American naval 
commander, bust of, by Houdon, 

JOSEPHINE, Empress, painted by 

David, 27 
JUDSON, Mrs. Isabelle Field, letter 

from General Cesnola to, 256 

KARNAK, model of Hypostyle Hall 
at, 21 1 

KELBY, R. H., citation from, on pro- 
ceedings to establish public 
museum and art gallery in 
Central Park, 41 

KENNEDY, John Stewart, member of 
special committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; se- 
cond vice-president of the mu- 
seum, 315, 318; his long years of 
conscientious service to the Mu- 
seum, 315, 318; a princely giver, 
315; extract from preface to his 
will, 315, 316 

KENNEDY, Robert Lenox, appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 1 16; contributes 
to Metropolitan Museum's loan 
exhibition, 166 

KENSETT, John Frederick, American 
painter, 101; member of notable 
supper party at Union League 
Club, 117; one of first trustees 
of Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
123; memorial exhibition 
of paintings by, 166 

Kensington Museum 

KENT, Henry W., Assistant Secre- 
tary of Metropolitan Museum, 
appointed Supervisor of Museum 
Instruction, 305 

KHEDIVE OF EGYPT, gift of obelisk 
to City of New York by, 220 

KING, Rev. C. \\ '., collection of en- 
graved gems made by, acquired 
by Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

KING, Dr. F. G., lecturer in schools 

of National Academy of Design, 

KING, Mary LeRoy, gives illumi- 
nated manuscript to Metropoli- 
tan Museum of Art, 255 

KUBASEK, Frau, of Vienna, directs 
classification and arrangement of 
laces in Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 312 

KUNZ, George Frederick, American 
mineralogist and expert in gems, 
invited to take charge of scien- 
tific part of catalogue describing 
Bishop collection of jade, 274; 
member of Sub-committee on 
Art Exhibits of Hudson-Fulton 
Commission, 298 

to Sunday opening of museums, 

LA FARCE, John, American artist, 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, i i(>; 
contributes to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum's loan exhibition, 166; 
placed in charge of class of ad- 
vanced students in Museum's 
art schools, 250 

LAFAYETTE, Marquis de, French 
general and statesman, encour- 
ages art enterprise of John I. 
Browere, 79; objects relating 
to, presented to Metropolit.m 
Museum of Art, 208 

LAFFAN, William Mackay, editor, 
scholar, and lover of the beau- 
tiful, 318; enriches Museum by 
his five years' trusteeship, 318 

LAWRENCE, Thomas, English paint- 
er, enrolled as honorary member 
of American Academy of the 
Fine Arts, 24; full-length por- 
trait of Benjamin West by, 27, 34 

LAZARUS, Amelia B., gift, of, to art 
schools of Metropolitan Museum, 

LAZARUS, Emilie, gift of, to art 
schools of Metropolitan Museum, 

LAZARUS, Jacob H., gift of scholar- 
ship to Museum as memorial of, 

LAZARUS, Sarah and Josephine, 



miniatures, boxes, and other art 
objects presented to Metropoli- 
tan Museum by, 222 

LE BRUN, Napoleon, stipulation by 
Levi Hale Willard with regard 
to, 209; appointed member of 
commission on purchase of casts, 

LE BRUN, Pierre, appointment of, 
as purchasing agent desired by 
Levi Hale Willard, 209; report 
by, 209; receives appointment 
from American Institute of 
Architects, 210; makes three 
visits to Europe, 210; displays 
good judgment in his selection, 
210; member of special commit- 
tee on casts for Metropolitan 
Museum, 252 

LEFEBVRE, Jules, French painter, 

LEIPSIC MUSEUM, opening of, 1 19 

LELAND, Francis L., makes large 
gift of money to Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 316 

LENOX, James, presents Nineveh 
Sculptures to New York Histori- 
cal Society, 39; art collection of, 
in New York Public Library, 92; 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, 1 16 

LEUTZE, E., serves on Committee of 
Fine Arts of Metropolitan Fair, 

LIND, Jenny, sings in New York 
under engagement by P. T. 
Barnum, 78 

LITTELL, Emlen T., appointed mem- 
ber of commission on purchase 
of casts, 210 

LIVINGSTON, Edward, first president 
of American Academy of the 
Fine Arts, 8; noted jurist and 
statesman, 13 

LIVINGSTON, Robert R., American 
statesman and jurist, originates 
first society for encouragement 
of fine arts in United States, 7; 
his home at Clermorit, 8; presi- 
dent of the American Academy 
of the Fine Arts, 10; a man of 
international fame, 13; adminis- 
ters oath of office to George 
Washington, 13; interested with 

Robert Fulton in developing plan 
of steam navigation, 13; success- 
ful as ambassador in securing 
cession of Louisiana to United 
States, 13; personal friend of 
Napoleon Bonaparte, 13; first 
purchasing agent in Paris for 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 14; casts shipped to New 
York by, 14, 16; their arrival 
and exhibition, 18; eulogy by 
DeWitt Clinton on, 22 
LIVINGSTON, Vanbrugh, portrait of, 


LONDON, S. F. B. Morse studies with 
Allston in, 49 

LONGACRE, James B., publishes, 
with James Herring, a note- 
worthy work, 57 

LOOP, Henry A., American painter, 

LOUISIANA, codification of penal 
laws of, 13; cession of, to United 
States, 13 

LOUVRE, collection of art in, 13, 135 

Low, A. A., appointed on committee 
to promote establishment of 
museum of art in New York City, 

Low, Seth, cooperation of Columbia 
University with Metropolitan 
Museum promoted by, 250; 
speaks at banquet on opening 
of new wing of Metropolitan 
Museum, 266; as mayor of New 
York delivers address at cere- 
monies on opening of East Wing 
of Museum, 278 

Jacobsz), Dutch engraver and 
painter, 44 

LYSIKRATES, cast of Monument of, 

MACMONNIES, Frederick, acquires 
early education in Cooper Union 
night art classes, 71 

MADOU, Jean Baptiste, Belgian 
painter, 192 

MADRID, rich private collection of 
pictures in, 109 

MAGRATH, William, American 
painter, 190 

MANHATTAN, only museum on is- 
land of, 3 



MANSFIELD, Howard, member of 
special committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; be- 
comes trustee of Museum, 253 

MARCKE, Emile van, French painter, 

MARQUAND, Allan, member of spec- 
ial committee on casts for Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 252 

MARQUAND, Henry Gurdon, ap- 
pointed on committee to promote 
establishment of museum of art 
in New York City, 116; contri- 
butes to Metropolitan Museum's 
loan exhibition, 166; collection of 
sculptural casts procured by 
Museum through gift of, 211; 
Charvet collection of ancient 
glass presented to Museum by, 
221 ; at exercises on opening new 
building of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 231; peculiarly fitted to 
succeed John Taylor Johnston 
as president of Metropolitan 
Museum, 233, 234; his benefac- 
tions to varied activities of Mu- 
seum, 247, 253; chairman of 
special committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; pre- 
sents to Museum his collection 
of paintings by old masters, 253, 
254; at exercises on opening of 
new wing of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 266; speaks at banquet in 
the evening, 266; presents altar- 
piece by Luca della Robbia to 
Metropolitan Museum, 268; 
death of, 278, 279; estimate of 
his services to Museum, 279, 280 

MASPERO, Prof. Gaston, Egyptian 
antiquities discovered by, 212, 

McKiM, Charles Pollen, American 
architect, services of, a public 
heritage, 318; leaves a memory 
of personal charm, 318 

McKiM, Mead & White, Messrs., 
appointed architects to Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 309 

MEAD, Gertrude (later Mrs. Edwin 
A. Abbey), Metropolitan Mu- 
seum indebted to, in connection 
with Watts loan exhibition, 215 

MEISSONIER, Jean Louis Ernest, 
French painter, 91 

MENES, first Pharaoh of Egypt, 
necklace and ear-rings stamped 
with name of, 40 

MERRIAM, Prof. Augustus C., co- 
operation of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum and Columbia University 
promoted by, 250; lectures in 
New York under auspices of 
Museum and University, 251; 
member of special committee on 
casts for Metropolitan Museum, 

See New York East Conference 

CIATION, sub-committee to draw 
plan of organization for, 1 19 

LERY, history of, 90-92 

events antedating incorporation 
of, 3,91,92: six important insti- 
tutions of art established earlier 
than, 6; incorporation of, 42, 
125; act providing for erection 
of building for, 42, 43; article 
discussing prospects of, 43; Prof. 
George F. Comfort intimately 
connected with inception of, 90: 
site selected for, \\8n.; plan of 
organization, 121, 122; its first 
officers, 122. 123; constitution of, 
125 et seq.; report of Loan Ex- 
hibition Committee of, 131, 132; 
Messrs. Tiffany & Co.'s offer to, 
132; influence of South Kensing- 
ton Museum upon, 134; collec- 
tion of Dutch, Flemish, Italian, 
French, English, and Spanish 
paintings purchased for, 135, 136; 
comes into possession of a valu- 
able nucleus for its permanent 
gallery, 137; legislative act 
authorizing construction of 
building for, 138; interesting in- 
cident of early history of, 1 38, 
139; first annual report sub- 
mitted, 140; located in the 
Dodworth Building, 143; private 
view of its pictures, 143, 144; 
examples of sixteenth and seven- 
teenth century carved oak lent 
to, 144 n.', fairly launched and 
under favorable auspices, 147; 
its gallery opened free to the 



public, 148; relations of, to 
students who desired to copy 
pictures, 149, 150; lectures on 
art in, 1 50; recommendations for 
design of , 1 5 1 ; itssite determined, 
1 32 ;;.; architects of, begin work, 
152, 153; outgrows its first 
quarters, 1 53; Cesnola Collection 
becomes property of, 156; ac- 
quires standing among institu- 
tions of art, 156; second home of, 
161, 162; its heavy expenses, 
162; contributors to loan ex- 
hibition of, 166; subsequent loan 
exhibitions, 166; Castellani Col- 
lections placed on view by, 166, 
167; guide to exhibition rooms of, 
167-170; facts revealed by its 
loan exhibitions, 170; unites with 
National Academy of Design in 
exhibiting private collections of 
art, 171; further purchases from 
General Cesnola, 171, 172; its 
exchanges with other museums, 
173; steps toward forming pho- 
tographic department in, 173; 
educational influence of, 174, 
175; planning for ejection of 
permanent building, 175; Cal- 
vert Yaux's plans of, 176; again 
appeals to Legislature, 178, lease 
of its building, 178, 179; partner- 
ship between city and, fully es- 
tablished, 179, 180; a free public 
institution, 180; transferring col- 
lections from old to new home 
of, 180; its trustees labor long 
and hard, 181, 182; Joseph H. 
Choate's address at opening of 
new home of, 183, 196, 198, 199, 
200; incidents of the opening, 
189; members of press invited 
to, for private view, 189, 190; 
some of the pictures exhibited, 
192, 194; glimpse of, as it looked 
when ready for opening, 194; 
plans for the opening day, 194; 
ceremony of opening, 194, 196; 
difficulties of management, 199; 
appeal for financial help, 200; 
Avery collection of porcelain 
bought by, 200, 201 ; Rev. C. VV. 
King's collection of engraved 
gems acquired by, 201 ; Richard 
Morris Hunt contributes archi- 

tectural casts to, 20 1 ; projected 
exhibition of industrial art by, 
201, 202; its acquisition of 
series illustrating art of electro- 
typing, 202; establishes and con- 
ducts industrial art schools, 202, 
203; buildings for technical 
school given rent free to, 203; 
schools continued in another lo- 
cation by, 203, 204; aim and 
scope of art schools of, 205; 
lectures under auspices of, in 
connection with art schools, 206; 
beginnings of its library, 206- 
208; appeal by trustees of, for 
contributions of works of refer- 
ence, 207; John Bigelow's gift to 
library of, 208; objects relating 
to Washington, Lafayette, and 
Franklin presented by William 
H. Huntington to, 208; bequests 
and gifts of importance begin to 
enrich, 208 ct seq.; steps toward 
formation of Egyptian collection 
in, 212; Prof. Maspero writes to, 
concerning his discovery of 
Egyptian antiquities, 212, 213; 
individual flavor of John Bige- 
low's correspondence with, 213; 
loan exhibition of works of 
George Frederick Watts, R. A., 
under auspices of, 213- 215; col- 
lections of, enriched by many 
valuable loans, 215; need of more 
space for, 216, 217; extension 
built to south of, 217; its need 
for a system of departmental 
organization, 217; adoption of 
plan suggested by that of British 
Museum, 218, 219; amendments 
to constitution of, 220; two pub- 
lic meetings of intense interest 
held in, 220, 221 ; Poe Memorial 
presented by actors of New York 
to, 221 ; remarkable growth and 
development of, 221 ; collections 
of great value added to, 22 1 , 222 ; 
attacks upon authenticity of Ces- 
nola collection of Cypriote anti- 
quities in, 222 etseq.; trustees of, 
loyally support General Cesnola, 
224; congratulatory letters re- 
ceived by, on vindication of its 
director; 225; continuous growth 
of, 231; exercises at opening of 



newbuilding,23i et seq.; the ques- 
tion of Sunday opening, 236 ct 
seq.; resolution to open on Sun- 
days reconsidered and passed by 
trustees, 244; employees of, on 
duty every Sunday, 244; dis- 
couraging conditions only tem- 
porary, 244, 245; laboring classes 
and young people well represent- 
ed on Sunday at, 245; financial 
aspect of Sunday opening, 245, 
246; proposal of trustees of, 
to Board of Estimate and Ap- 
portionment, 246; legislation for 
maintenance of, 246, 247, num- 
ber of Sunday visitors to, 247; 
Sunday opening a phase of edu- 
cational work of, 247; educa- 
tional work of art schools of, 
247, 248; reorganization of the 
art schools, 248, 249; post-grad- 
uate course for serious study of 
art collections of, 249, 250; clos- 
ing of all classes in the art schools, 
250; cooperation with Columbia 
University, 250, 251; important 
changes in classes of member- 
ship in, 251, 252; collection 
of casts in, enlarged to practi- 
cally its present size, 252, 253; 
reproductions of ancient bronze 
sculptures presented to, 254; 
receives from Henry G. Mar- 
quand his collection of paintings 
by old masters, 253, 254; the 
Drexel gifts to, 254, 255; collec- 
tion of musical instruments pre- 
sented by Mrs. John Crosby 
Brown to, 254, 255; chosen as 
recipient of Edward C. Moore 
bequest, 255; illuminated man- 
uscript of Saint Augustine's De 
Civitate Dei presented to library 
of, 255; receives two valuable 
accessions of ceramics, 255; 
comes into possession of collec- 
tion of tapestries, vases, statuary, 
and paintings, and fund of 
$20,000, 255, 256; collection of 
objects associated with laying of 
Atlantic cable presented by 
Cyrus W. Eield to, 256; Mr. 
Field's interest in purchase of 
Cesnola Collection for, 256; 
influence exerted by projected 

World's Columbian Exposition 
upon, 256 et seq.; opening of 
North \Vingof, with fitting cere- 
monies, 265; policy of holding 
loan exhibitions resumed, 266, 
267; exhibition of the most 
comprehensive and representa- 
tive collection of oil paintings 
and miniatures ever brought to- 
gether, 267; memorial exhibition 
of the works of F. E. Church, N. 
A. ,267; establishment of mould- 
ing department for making casts 
of statuary, 268; era of pros- 
perity for, 268; possesses con- 
fidence of community, 268; gifts 
great and small offered to, 268, 
269; origin of its exhibition of 
arms and armor, 269, 270; other 
gifts, loans, and bequests, 270, 
271; receives its largest bequest, 
271, 272; elects Finance Com- 
mittee, 272; act amending char- 
ter of, 272, 273; two interesting 
accessions purchased by, 273; 
transfer of the Bishop collection 
of jade to, 273 ; loan exhibition of 
valuable collection of modern 
paintings made by William H. 
Yanderbilt, 274; increases of 
annual maintenance appropria- 
tion for, 274, 276; construction 
and occupation of East Wing of, 
276; editorial comment on new 
wing, 277; opening ceremonies, 
277, 278; participates in move- 
ment to erect memorial to 
Richard Morris Hunt, 278; 
loses nine of its trustees by 
death, 278; Garland collection 
of ancient Chinese porcelain 
saved to, by J. Pierpont Morgan, 
279; further losses by death, 
279 et seq.; new period of activ- 
ity, 289; changes in constitu- 
tion of, 290; creation of new 
classes of membership, 290, 292; 
election of director, 292, 293; 
election of assistant director, 
293; organization of enlarged 
staff, 294; reorganization of de- 
partments recommended, 294; 
educational work of, 294 et seq : 
recent exhibitions, 297-299; 
special methods to facilitate 



sight-seeing, 300, 301 ; compila- 
tion of catalogues, 301; Photo- 
graph Department and Infor- 
mation Desk, 301, 302; changes 
in rules for sketching and copy- 
ing, 302; the Library, 303, 304; 
sympathetic attitude of, toward 
public school teachers and schol- 
ars, 304 et seq.; unequal struggle 
between capacity of building and 
growth of collections, 308, 309; 
addition of four extensions, 309, 
310; formation of Department of 
Decorative Arts, 310; European 
and American decorative arts 
admirably represented at open- 
ing of new wing, 311; Murch 
collection of Egyptian antiqui- 
ties presented by Helen Miller 
Gould to, 312; collection of laces 
and textiles, 312, 313; organiza- 
tion of Department of Egyptian 
Art, 313, 314; contemporary 
American paintings in, 314; not 
lacking in friends, 314, 315; large 
legacies and gifts, 315, 316; loses 
loyal friends and officers by 
death, 316; Edward Robinson, 
acting director, elected director 
of, 320 

MILLET, Francis Davis, American 
painter, appointed member of 
special committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; be- 
comes trustee of Museum, 253; 
endeared himself to his comrades, 
319; his untimely death on the 
steamship Titanic, 319 

MILLS, Darius Ogden, trustee of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
316, 3 18; bequest of, to Museum 
used as memorial fund for pur- 
chase of works of art, 316; first 
vice-president of Museum for 
four years, 318; estimate of his 
character by his fellow-trustees, 


Etruscan bronze biga discovered 
in tomb near, 273 

MOORE, Edward C., aids Metro- 
politan Museum in establishing 
industrial art schools, 202; be- 
quest of, to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 255 

MORGAN, E. D., one of first trustees 
of Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

MORGAN, John Pierpont, American 
banker and financier, begins his 
princely giving to Metropolitan 
Museum, 270; purchases Gar- 
land collection of ancient Chinese 
porcelain and continues to lend 
it to Museum, 279; elected presi- 
dent of Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 289; a generous donor, 289; 
zealous for Museum's welfare, 
289; his leadership singularly 
effective, 289; chairman of Gen- 
eral Committee of Hudson- 
Fulton Commission, 298; offers 
Georges Hoentschel collection of 
objects of French decorative art 
to Metropolitan Museum, 310 

MORGAN, Junius S., acts for John 
Taylor Johnston in purchase of 
Cesnola Collection, 153, 154 


planned by Calvert Vaux, 153 

MORSE, James Herbert, ode written 
by, for exercises at opening of 
new building of Metropolitan 
Museum, 232 

MORSE, Samuel Finley Breese, 
American artist and inventor, 
picture of Congress Hall by, 6 n. 3 ; 
writes to James FenimoreCooper, 
6, 7; interesting manuscript on 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts by, 29, 30; letter to DeWitt 
Clinton from, 30, 46; reconciles 
petty dissensions among artists, 
45; acts with tact, courtesy, and 
fairness, 48, 49; chosen first 
president of National Academy 
of Design, 49; his glory as 
scientist, 49; devotes over thirty 
years of his life to art, 49; studies 
in London with Allston, 49; ad- 
dresses students of National 
Academy of Design, 52, 53; ex- 
cerpts from letters to his parents, 
53, 54; brief synopsis of his 
lectures, 54 

MOSENTHAL, Joseph, ode composed 
by, for exercises at opening of 
new building of Metropolitan 
Museum, 232 

MOULD, Jacob Wrey, Anglo-Amer- 

34 8 


ican architect, prepares plans 
adapted to site of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 1 18 n., i 53 

MOUNT, William Sidney, American 
painter, enriched by commissions 
and friendship of Luman Reed, 
62; assists in interior decoration 
of Luman Reed's house, 64 

movement to erect memorial to 
Richard Morris Hunt, 278 

MURCH, Dr. Chauncey, collection 
of Egyptian antiquities formed 
by, 312 

MURRAY, Alexander S., Keeper of 
Greek and Roman Antiquities in 
British Museum, congratulatory 
letter from, on vindication of 
director of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 225 ; lectures in New York, 

MURRAY, John R., director of Amer- 
ican Academy of the Fine Arts, 
10; Vandeflyn the artist writes 
to, and receives reply from, 17 

MUSEUM, earliest on Manhattan 
Island. See Tammany Museum 

MUSEUM OF ART, Metropolitan. 
See Metropolitan Museum oj Art 

to earlier Philharmonic Society, 
82 n. 

MYRES, Prof. J. L., leading author- 
ity upon art and civilization of 
Cyprus, 225; Wykeham profes- 
sor of ancient history at Oxford 
University, 225; on the Cesnola 
antiquities, 225 

NAPLES, Museum of, bronze sculp- 
tures found at Herculaneum 
placed in, 253 

establishment of, 26; Dunlap 
and Cummings academicians of, 
27; school established by, 28; 
S. F. B. Morse first president of, 
29, 49; American Academy of the 
Fine Arts sells casts to, 34; an 
outgrowth of New York Drawing 
Association, 45, 49; formally 
incorporated by the State, 49; 
its first exhibition, 49, 50; second 
and third exhibitions, 50, 52; 
schools opened by, 52; S. F. B. 

Morse and William Cullen Bry- 
ant address students of. 52; in- 
cidents in the history of, 54; in- 
vites schools to visit its exhibi- 
tion, 54; needs permanent home, 
55; establishes fellowship. 56; 
description of its building, 56, 57. 
lends its large exhibition room to 
New York Gallery of the Fine 
Arts, 65, 66; R. Swain Gifford 
and Frederick Dielman aca- 
demicians of, 73; responsibility 
for permanent gallery of art in 
New York laid upon, 99; unites 
with Metropolitan Museum in 
exhibiting private collections of 
art, 171, prize students from, 
enrolled in Metropolitan Mu- 
seum's advanced class, 250 

NATIONAL MUSEUM, Berlin, modern 
German paintings and sculpture 
in, 1 19 

movement to erect memorial to 
Richard Morris Hunt joined in 
by, 278 

NEAGLE, John, member of the Phila- 
delphia Academy, 52 

NEWBOLD, Catherine A., classifica- 
tion prepared by, for loan collec- 
tion of laces at World's Fair, 
Chicago, 312; enthusiastic 
interest and untiring industry of, 

NEW MUSEUM, Berlin, collection of 
casts in, 1 19 

ARTS. See American Academy 
of the Fine Arts 

NEW YORK ATHENAEUM, first course 
of lectures on fine arts in Amer- 
ica delivered at, 53 

NEW YORK CITY, permanent insti- 
tutions of art in, 3, 35; contained 
six predecessors of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 6; episodes in 
the history of art in, 75 et seq.. 
106; movement to establish gal- 
lery of art in, at close of Civil 
War, 99; commercial center of 
a wide empire, 107, i 10; rapid 
increase of wealth in, 133; its 
privately owned works of art. 
170; presentation of Egyptian 
obelisk to, 220; almost forgotten 



chapter of history of, 256 et seq.; 
educational and art institutions 
of, enriched by Samuel P. Avery, 

National Academy of Design an 
outgrowth of, 45, 49; S. F. B. 
Morse explains origin of, to De 
Witt Clinton, 46; its strained 
relations with American Aca- 
demy of the Fine Arts, 48; 
becomes the National Academy 
of Design, 49 

Methodist Episcopal Church, 
opposed to Sunday opening of 
museums, 239 

ARTS, entire collection of, trans- 
ferred to New York Historical 
Society, 38, 67; inseparably con- 
nected with name of Luman 
Reed, 62; organization and in- 
corporation of, 64; interesting 
sections of its constitution, 64, 
65; exhibits its collection of 
paintings, 65, 66 

Athenaeum merged in, 53 n. 

bill for endowing, 7; original 
agreement of American Academy 
of the Fine Arts may be seen at, 
8; located in same building as 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 20; records of Academy 
given to, 32; valuable collections 
of, 35, 38-40; plan for organiza- 
tion of, 36; takes action in favor 
of establishing public museum 
and art gallery in Central Park, 
40, 41 ; proposed site for use of, 
42; article discussing prospects 
of, 43; important gifts to, 43, 
44; New York Gallery's collec- 
tion of pictures placed in care 
of, 67; Thomas J. Bryan's gift 
of his collection to, 72; Hamilton 
Fish president of, 84; wishes to 
use Arsenal for permanent gal- 
lery of art, 99; William J. 
Hoppin urges cooperation with, 
in favor of projected museum, 

i '5 

various literary and scientific 
societies in, 32, 36 

Sunday opening of museums, 239 

collections in, 92; present site of, 
152; liberality of Samuel P. 
Avery to, 281 

NICOL, Erskine, British painter, 192 

NINEVEH, Layard's discovery of, 155 

James Lenox to New York His- 
torical Society, 39 

NOLLEKENS, Joseph, English sculp- 
tor, enrolled as honorary member 
of American Academy of the 
Fine Arts, 24 

NORTON, Charles Eliot, president of 
Archaeological Instituteof Amer- 
ica, lecture by, 206; congratu- 
latory letter from, on vindication 
of director of Metropolitan 
Museum, 225 

NOTRE DAME, model of Cathedral of, 

2 1 I 

NUTTALL, Magdalena, of Tunbridge 
Wells, England, presents collec- 
tion of laces to Metropolitan 
Museum, 313 

OLMSTED, Frederick Law, American 
landscape gardener, appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 116; one of 
first executive committee of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
123; with Cal vert Yaux presents 
successful design for laying out 
Central Park, 153 

OLYPHANT, R. M., lends works of 
art to fair in aid of United States 
Sanitary Commission, 90, 91; 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, i 16; 
contributes to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum's loan exhibition, 166 

PAFF, Michael, gallery for sale of 
paintings opened by, 79, 80 

PAINE, Prof. John A., appointed 
curator of casts in Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 219 

PARIS, Robert R. Livingston pur- 



chasing agent in, for American 
Academy of the Fine Arts, 14 

PARK, Richard Henry, sculptor of 
Poe Memorial, 221 

PARSONS, Mary, instrumental in 
procuring for Museum gifts of 
rare examples of lacemaker's art, 

PARTHENON, full-sized sections of, 
2 10; model of, 2 1 1 ; casts of forty 
slabs of frieze of, 268 

PAYNE, John Howard, American 
dramatist, actor.and song-writer, 
author of Home, Sweet Home, 84 

PEA BODY, Judge, attends meeting to 
initiate movement for the estab- 
lishment of a museum of art, 104 

PEALE, Reuben, museum conducted 
by, 76, 78 

S. F. B. Morse writes to DeWitt 
Clinton on, 30 

PERCIVAL, James Gates, American 
poet, letter written by, 6 

PERKINS, Charles C., congratulatory 
letter from, on vindication of 
director of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 225 

82 n. 

National Academy of Design 
opened in rooms of, 52 

PHOENIX, S. Whitney, bequeaths 
curiosities, antiquities, and works 
of art to Metropolitan Museum, 

PINTARD, John, first Sagamore of 
Tammany Society, 3: announce- 
ment by, 22, 24; originates plan 
for organization of New York 
Historical Society, 36; memo- 
rable letter of, to DeWitt 
Clinton, 36, 38 

PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista, Italian 
etcher, 13, 34 

Pius VI I, Pope, painted by David,27 

POE MEMORIAL, unveiling of, 221 

PORTER, General Horace, speaks at 
banquet on opening of new wing 
of Metropolitan Museum, 266 

POST. George B., accepts place of 
consulting architect to Metro- 
politan Museum ot Art, 276 

POTTER, Henry Codman, D D., 

Protestant Episcopal Bishop of 
New York, opens Metropolitan 
Museum of Art with prayer, 196; 
speaks at banquet on opening of 
new wing of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 266 

POTTER, Howard, appointed on 
committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 1 16; one of firsi 
trustees of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 123 

PRATT, Waldo S., work for Metro- 
politan Museum done by, 218 . 

PRIME, William Cowper, American 
journalist and author, appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 1 16; on the 
beginnings of the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 124, 125; con- 
tributes to Museum's loan ex- 
hibition, 166; offers to furnish 
photographs of objects in Mu- 
seum at his own expense, 173; 
appointed to investigate charges 
brought against Cesnola collec- 
tion of Cypriote antiquities, 222: 
at exercises on opening new 
building of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 231; delivers the address 
ot the day, 234, 236; resigns as 
vice-president and trustee. 245 
n.; sits to Daniel Huntington for 
portrait, 245 H ; speaks at ban- 
quet on opening of new wing of 
Metropolitan Museum, 266 

PROSPECT PARK, Brooklyn, planned 
by Calvert Vaux. 1 53 

PRUSSIA, outbreak of war between 
France and, 136 

Public Library 

PUTNAM, George P., founder of pub- 
lishing firm of G. P. Putnam iSc 
Sons, 101; one of notable supper 
party at Union League Club. 
117; helpful letter from Prof, 
George F. Comfort to, i 19, 120; 
hears from Rev. Dr Bellows on 
need of men of laith and pre- 
vision. 1 20, 121: one of first 
executive committee ot Metro- 
politan Museum ol Art. 123', 
becomes its superintendent 149 



RAEBURN, Henry, Scottish painter, 
enrolled as honorary member of 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 24 

RAINSFORD, Rev. William S., acts 
in favor of Sunday opening of 
Museum, 244 

REED, Gideon F. T., aids Metro- 
politan Museum in establishing 
industrial art schools, 202; en- 
dowment fund contributed by, 
203; letter of, to Robert Hoe, 

REED, Luman, inseparably con- 
nected with New York Gallery 
of the Fine Arts, 62; New York's 
first patron of the arts on a large 
scale, 62; painters enriched by 
his commissions and his friend- 
ship, 62; his home, 64; his pic- 
tures purchased by subscription 
after his death, 64; member of 
the Sketch Club, 84 

REISINGER, Hugo, promotes unique 
exhibition of German paintings 
and sculpture, 298 

REMBRANDT (Rembrandt Herman- 
zoon van Rijn), Dutch painter 
and etcher, portrait by, 44; loan 
exhibition of pictures by, in 
connection with Hudson-Fulton 
Celebration, 298 

RENWICK, James, report on plans of 
Metropolitan Museum signed by, 

RHINELANDER, Frederick \V., mem- 
ber of special committee on casts 
for Metropolitan Museum, 252; 
at ceremonies on opening of 
East Wing of Museum, 277, 278; 
death of, 280; estimate of his 
services, 281 

RIMMER, Dr. William, given sole 
charge of Cooper Union School 
of Design for Women, 72, 73; his 
remarkable knowledge of anat- 
omy, 73; unique methods of, 73; 
his works, 73 

RIVERSIDE PARK, New York, plan- 
ned by Calvert Vaux, 153 

ROBB, J. Hampden, at exercises on 
opening new building of Metro- 
politan Museum, 2.31 

ROBBIA, Luca della, cast of altar- 
piece by, made in moulding de- 

partment of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 268 

ROBERTS, Marshall O., lends works 
of art to fair in aid of United 
States Sanitary Commission, 90, 
91 ; vice-president of meeting to 
initiate movement for the estab- 
lishment of a museum of art, 104; 
sends letter of good wishes, 115; 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, 1 16 

ROBINSON, Edward, Curator, Bos- 
ton Museum of Fine Arts, ap- 
pointed purchasing agent for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252; elec- 
ted assistant director of Museum, 
293; sketch of his career, 293, 
294; member of Sub-committee 
on Art Exhibits of Hudson-Ful- 
ton Commission, 298; conducts 
affairs of Museum during illness 
of Sir Caspar Purdon Clarke, 
320; elected director of Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 320 

ROGERS, John, upholds authenticity 
of statues in Cesnola collection 
of Cypriote antiquities, 224 

ROGERS, Samuel, English poet, 
anecdote of, related by William 
Cullen Bryant, 1 12 

ROME, famous Campana collection 
of marbles at, 109, 113; Ameri- 
can artists residing in, 109; 
marbles from old civilization of, 

ROOD, Prof. O. M., appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 16 

ROOSEVELT, Theodore (1831-1878), 
acts on sub-committee on mu- 
seum construction, 151 

ROTUNDA, New York Gallery of 
the Fine Arts petitions corpor- 
ation for use of, 66; petition 
granted, 66, 67, 83; exhibition of 
pictures in, 67; erected and used 
by John Vanderlyn for his pano- 
ramas, 80 et seq.; fitted up for 
Court of Sessions and used later 
for Marine Court, 83; Naturali- 
zation Office located in, 83; used 
temporarily for post-office after 
great fire, 83; removal of, 84 



ROUSSEAU, Theodore, French paint- 
er, 91 

ROYAL ACADEMY, English, furnishes 
model for American Academy of 
the Fine Arts, 8; Trumbull well 
acquainted with workings of, 14 

RUSKIN, John, English art critic and 
writer, 60 

RUYSDAEL, Salomon and Jacob, 
Dutch painters, 90 

SAGE, Mrs. Russell, gives entire 
Bolles collection of American 
furniture and decorative arts to 
Metropolitan Museum, 31 1 

SAINT-GAUDENS, Augustus, Ameri- 
can sculptor, acquires early 
education in Cooper Union night 
art classes, 71 ; member of spec- 
ial committee on casts for Metro- 
politan Museum, 252; memorial 
exhibition of works of, 297 

SAINT-GAUDENS, Mrs. Augustus, 
assists in arranging memorial 
exhibition of her husband's 
works, 297 

SAINT-GAUDENS, Homer, assists in 
arranging memorial exhibition 
of works of Augustus Saint- 
Gaudens, 297 

SALVATION ARMY, training school 
and national headquarters of, 

SANDS, R. G., member of the Sketch 
Club, 84 

States Sanitary Commission 

SARTO, Andrea del, Italian painter, 
90, 1 66 

SATTERLEE, Right Rev. Henry Y., 
Bishop of Washington, 277 

SAXONY, museum of fine arts in, 108 

SCHEFFER, Ary, French painter, i 12 

See under Cooper Union 

SCHOOL OF MINES, Columbia Uni- 
versity, 20 1 

SCUDDER, John, part of contents of 
Tammany Museum passes into 
possession of, 6; American 
Museum of, 20, 75, 76 

SEDELMEYER, Charles, lends collec- 
tion of Dutch and Flemish Old 
Masters to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 216 

SELIGMAN, Henrietta, bequeaths 
collection of rare seventeenth 
and eighteenth century lace to 
Metropolitan Museum, 313 

SENEY, George I., oil paintings 
presented to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum by, 221, 222 

SEYMOUR HADEN, Francis, etchings 
by, presented to Metropolitan 
Museum by William Loring 
Andrews, 221 

SHAW, Charles B., lecturer in schools 
of National Academy of Design, 

SHEE, Martin, president of the 
Royal Academy, 24 

SHIPMAN, Hon. Nathaniel, pre- 
siding judge in libel suit brought 
against General Cesnola, 224 

SKETCH CLUB, personnel of, 84; 
C. C. Ingham its first president, 
84; purposes of its formation, 
84, 85; amusing discussions of, 


SLOANE, Prof. William Milligan, 
speaks at banquet on opening 
of new wing of Metropolitan 
Museum, 266 

SMIBERT, John, Scotch painter, ex- 
hibition of American colonial 
portraits by, 299 

SMITH, Charles Stewart, presents 
collection of Japanese pottery 
and porcelain to Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 255; serves 
efficiently on Building Commit- 
tee of Museum, 318; promotes 
helpful relationship between New 
York City and Metropolitan 
Museum, 3 18 

Brown Goode assistant secretary 
of, 7 

See American Artists 

ecclesiastical silver and domestic 
plate lent to Metropolitan Mu- 
seum by, 299 

don, loan collection of works of 
art in, 113, 114; influence of, 
upon Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 134; Sir Caspar Purdon 
Clarke director of, 292, 293 



SPAIN, museum of fine arts in capital 
of, 1 08 

STANFORD, Leland, Governor of 
California, Cypriote antiquities 
sold to, 212 

STANLEY, Arthur Penrhyn, Dean of 
Westminster Abbey, England, 

STANLEY, Lady Augusta, introduc- 
tion of General Cesnola to, by 
Cyrus W. Field, 256 

STEBBINS, Henry G., vice-president 
of meeting to initiate movement 
for the establishment of a mu- 
seum of art, 104; proffers sym- 
pathy of Central Park Commis- 
sion with object of meeting, 114; 
appointed on committee to 
promote establishment of mu- 
seum of art in New York City, 
\ii6; made president of the 
committee, 1 18, 119; one of 
first trustees of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 123 

STEWART, Alexander Turney, Amer- 
ican merchant and capitalist, 
appointed on committee to pro- 
mote establishment of museum 
of art in New York City, 1 16; 
his gift to Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, 133 

STEWART, D. Jackson, appointed on 
committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 1 16 

STICKNEY, Albert, counsel for Gen- 
eral Cesnola in libel suit brought 
against him, 224 

STIMSON, John Ward, director of art 
schools of Metropolitan Museum, 


STOKES, Anson Phelps, appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 1 16 

STORY, George H., Curator of 
Paintings, work of exhibitions 
devolves largely upon, 267, 268; 
asks to be relieved from his 
duties, 268; honored with posi- 
tion of Curator Emeritus, 268; 
vacant directorship of Metro- 
politan Museum temporarily 
filled by, 290 

STUART, Gilbert, American painter, 

full-length portrait of Washing- 
ton by, 5, 6 

STUART, Robert L., art collection of, 
in New York Public Library, 
92; appointed on committee 
to promote establishment of 
museum of art in New York 
City, 1 16; contributes to Metro- 
politan Museum's loan exhibi- 
tion, 166 

S r u R G E s, Jonathan, agreement 
transferring art collection signed 
by, 38, 39; collector of American 
paintings, 64; president of New 
York Gallery of the Fine Arts, 
64; furnishes financial backing 
to the Gallery, 67; lends works 
of art to fair in aid of United 
States Sanitary Commission, 90, 
91; appointed on committee to 
promote establishment of mu- 
seum of art in New York City, 


STURGES, Mrs. Jonathan, serves on 
Committee of Fine Arts of 
Metropolitan Fair, 91 

STURGIS, Russell, emphasizes valu- 
able opportunities for acquiring 
art collections, 113, 114; ap- 
pointed on committee to promote 
establishment of museum of art 
in New York City, 117; first 
corresponding secretary of Met- 
ropolitan Museum of Art, 123; 
chairman of Loan Exhibition 
Committee, 131; lecture by, on 
Ceramic Art, 150; report on 
plans of Metropolitan Museum 
signed by, 176; lectures in New- 
York under auspices of Metro- 
politan Museum and Columbia 
University, 251 

STUYVESANT, Rutherfurd, appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 117; advises 
purchase of Talleyrand-Perigord 
collection of arms and armor by 
Metropolitan Museum, 270, 318; 
last but one of the founders of 
the Museum, 316; direct de- 
scendant of Governor Peter Stuy- 
vesant, 316; his interest in, and 
attachment to, Museum for 
nearly forty years, 316 



antiquities exhibited in, 39 

SWEENY, Peter B., lawyer and poli- 
tician, in power at Albany, 139; 
favors act authorizing construc- 
tion of building for Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 139 

de, Due de Dino, collection of 
arms and armor purchased by 
Metropolitan Museum from, 270 
1 AMMANY, Saint, museum estab- 
lished by followers of, 3, 4 

TAMMANY MUSEUM, earliest re- 
corded on Manhattan Island, 3; 
thrown open to the public, 4; 
outgrows its quarters and finds 
new home, 4; transferred to 
Gardiner Baker, who adds to its 
attractions, 5, 6; sold to W. J. 
Waldron, 6; part of its contents 
pass to John Scudder and later 
to P. T. Barnum, 6 

TAMMANY SOCIETY, or Columbian 
Order, earliest recorded museum 
on Manhattan Island conducted 
by, 3, 4; interest in art wanes 
among members of, 5 

TENIERS, David, Flemish painter, 90 

THOMPSON, Rev. Dr. Joseph P.. 
attends meeting to initiate move- 
ment for the establishment of 
a museum of art in New York 
City, 104; sees in the grandeur 
of the project an element of 
success, 1 14; one of notable 
supper party at Union League 
Club, 1 17 

THOMPSON, Launt, upholds authen- 
ticity of statues in Cesnola col- 
lection of Cypriote antiquities, 

THUMB, General Tom, Jr., on ex- 
hibition at Barnum's, 78 

TIFFANY & Co., Messrs., offer 
Metropolitan Museum free use 
of second story of building for 
exhibition, 132; get exclusive 
right to manufacture reproduc- 
tions of works of art in Museum, 


TIFFANY, Louis C., member of 
special committee on casts for 
Metropolitan Museum, 252 

TINTORETTO (Jacopo Robusti), Ven- 
etian painter, 166 

TITANIC, White Star Line steamship, 
loss of, 319 

TITIAN (Tiziano Vecelli), Venetian 
painter, 166 

TONKS, Prof. Oliver S., of Vassar 
College, lectures to high school 
teachers at Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 308 

TROYON, Constant, French painter, 
91, 190 

TRUMBULL, John, vice-president of 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 10; the only artist men- 
tioned in Academy's charter, 13; 
moving force in the undertaking. 
13, 14 H. 1 ; of a distinguished 
family, 14; receives much gov- 
ernment patronage, 14, his four 
historical pictures for rotunda of 
Capitol at Washington, 14; his 
last years, 14; Durand's analysis 
of his character, 14; succeeds 
DeWitt Clinton as president of 
American Academy of the Fine 
Arts, 21 ; several works by, pur- 
chased for Academy, 27; hos- 
tility of Dunlap and Cummings 
to, 27; his opposition to the 
opening of schools, 28; Durand 
on his connection with American 
Academy of the Fine Arts, 30, 
32; initial impetus to progress 
of art in New York City given 
by, 34; asks members of Draw- 
ing Association to sign matricu- 
lation book of American Acad- 
emy, 46; shows feeling of 
wounded dignity and injured 
pride, 49; represented by por- 
trait of a lady at first exhibition 
of National Academy of Design, 

TUCKEKMAN, Arthur L., work of, 
for Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, 2 1 7; -death of, 248, 265; his 
untiring devotion to interests of 
Museum acknowledged in reso- 
lution by trustees, 265 

TUCKERMAN, Henry T., citations 
from Book of the Artists by, 
6 H. 4 , 92 

TUCKERMAN, Lucius, appointed on 
committee to promote estab- 


lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 117; one of 
first executive committee of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

TURNER, Joseph Mallord William, 
English painter, 60 

TWEED, William Marcy, political 
"boss," in power at Albany, 
139; favors act authorizing 
construction of building for Met- 
ropolitan Museum of Art, 139 

ULRICH, Charles F., prize painting 
by, presented to Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 216 

UNION LEAGUE CLUB, membership 
of, ardent and active supporters 
of United States Sanitary Com- 
mission, 90, 91; memorial to, 
on foundation of national gallery 
of art, 100, 101; John Jay elected 
president of, 101; work of Art- 
Committee of, 103; notable sup- 
per at, 117 

UNITED STATES, first society for 
encouragement of fine arts in, 
7; George Washington becomes 
first President of, 13; cession of 
Louisiana to, 13 

George Brown Goode's connec- 
tion with, 7 

MISSION, fair in aid of, 90, 91 

UPJOHN, Richard, attends meeting 
to initiate movement for the 
establishment of a museum of 
art, 104 

VAN ALEN, J. H., contributes to 
loan exhibition of Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, 166 

V \NDERBILT, Cornelius, American 
financier, drawings donated to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art by, 
221; member oT Board of 
Trustees of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum, 278; chairman of Exe- 
cutive Committee of Museum, 
278; his constant unwearying 
interest in affairs of Museum, 278 

VANDERBILT, George W., contri- 
butes to loan exhibition of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

192, 194; lends to Metropolitan 
Museum valuable collection of 
modern paintings, 274 

VANDERBILT, William H., American 
financier, contributes to loan 
exhibition of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 192; valuable col- 
lection of modern paintings 
brought together by, 274 

VANDERLIP, George M., appointed 
on committee to promote estab- 
lishment of museum of art in 
New York City, 1 17 

VANDERLYN, John, American artist, 
aided by Aaron Burr, 16; agree- 
ment between American Acad- 
emy of the Fine Arts and, 1 6, 17; 
does not live up to terms of the 
contract, 17; sends some casts 
by brig Success, 17; copies of 
four paintings received from, 17, 
18; first American artist to pre- 
sent a mythological subject 
successfully, 24; building erected 
by, for his panoramas, 66, 80 
d seq. 

V A N D Y c K, Anthony, Flemish 
painter, portrait by, 44 

VAN DYKE, Prof. John C., lectures 
in New York under auspices of 
Metropolitan Museum and Col- 
umbia University, 251 

VAN LEYDEN, Lucas. See Lucas van 
Ley den 

VARICK, Richard, petitions Corpora- 
tion of New York in behalf of 
John Yanderlyn, 83 

VATICAN, art collection rivaling that 
of, 135 

VAUX, Calvert, Anglo-American 
landscape architect, appointed 
on committee to promote es- 
tablishment of museum of art 
in New York City, 1 17; one of 
notable supper party at Union 
League Club, 117; prepares 
plans adapted to site of Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, 118;;.; 
architects of Museum confer 
with, 152, 153; distinguished as 
a landscape architect, 153; with 
Frederick Law Olmsted presents 
successful design for laying out 
Central Park, 153; plans Pros- 
pect, Riverside, and Morningside 



Parks, 153; works on plans and 
specifications of Metropolitan 
Museum, 175, 176 

VELA, Vincenzo, Italian sculptor, 
marble Napoleon by, 146 n. 

VENUS OF MELOS, cast of, made in 
moulding department of Metro- 
politan Museum, 268 

VENUS, temple of, in Cyprus, 154 

VERMEER, Johannes, Dutch painter, 
loan exhibition of pictures by, in 
connection with Hudson-Fulton 
Celebration, 298 

VERPLANCK, Gulian Crommelin, 
American lawyer and author, 
member of the Sketch Club, 84 

VESPASIAN, temple of, 210 

See South Kensington Museum 

VILLARD, Henry, bequest of, to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
270, 271 

VILLEGAS, Pedro de, Spanish painter, 

VINCI, Leonardo da, Italian painter, 
1 66 

VINTON, General F. L., appointed 
on committee to promote es- 
tablishment of museum of art 
in New York City, 1 17 

VON BREMEN, Meyer, painting by, 

Lawrence's portrait of Benjamin 
West passes to, 34 

WAIT, Frederick S., treasurer of 
committee to arrange memorial 
exhibition of works of Augustus 
Saint-Gaudens, 297 

WALDRON, W. J., Tammany Mu- 
seum sold to, 6 

WALES, Salem H., trustee of Metro- 
politan Museum, 280; park com- 
missioner and president of De- 
partment of Parks, 280; chair- 
man of Building Committee of 
Metropolitan Museum, 280 

WARD, John Quincy Adams, Am- 
erican sculptor, 101; one of 
first executive committee of 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
123; appointed to investigate 
charges brought against Cesnola 
collection of Cypriote antiqui- 

ties, 222; member of special 
committee on casts for Metro- 
politan Museum, 252 

WARD, Samuel Gray, painting by 
Cole for, 60; appointed on com- 
mittee to promote establishment 
of museum of art in New York 
City, 117; first treasurer of Me- 
tropolitan Museum of Art, 123 

WARD, Dr. William Hayes, Ameri- 
can archaeologist and journalist, 
Babylonian and Assyrian cyl- 
inders, seals, etc., purchased by 
Metropolitan Museum from, 222 ; 
lectures in New York under 
auspices of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum and Columbia University, 

WARE, Prof. William R., on standing 
of Metropolitan Museum's class 
of advanced students, 250; mem- 
ber of special committee on 
casts for Museum, 252 

WARNER, Andrew, agreement trans- 
ferring art collection signed by, 

38, 39 

WARNER, Charles Dudley, American 
author, speaks at banquet on 
opening of new wing of Metro- 
politan Museum, 266; writes 
introduction to catalogue of 
memorial exhibition of works of 
F. E. Church, N. A., 267 

WASHINGTON, George, first Presi- 
dent of the United States, full- 
length portrait of, by Stuart, 5, 
6; oath of office as President 
administered to, by Chancellor 
Livingston, 13; bust of, by 
Houdon, 79; colossal statue of, 
by J- Q- A. Ward, 101; objects 
connected with, presented to 
Metropolitan Museum, 208 

WATTS, George Frederick, English 
painter and sculptor, loan exhi- 
bition of works of, 213-215 

WEIR, Prof. John F., speaks at 
banquet on opening of new wing 
of Metropolitan Museum, 266 

WENMAN, James F., at exercises on 
opening of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 196 

WEST, Benjamin, American-English 
painter, Robert Fulton a pupil 
of, 8; Quaker boy who became 



president of Royal Academy, 13; 
Lawrence's full-length portrait 
of, 27, 34; exhibition in New 
York, of facsimile of great picture 

by, 78 

\\ ESTON, Theodore, appointed on 
committee to promote establish- 
ment of museum of art in New 
York City, 117; made secretary 
of the committee, 1 18, 119; first 
recording secretary of Metropoli- 
tan Museum of Art, 123; ap- 
pointed architect to the Museum, 
217; architect of South Wing of 
Metropolitan Museum, 265 

WHISTLER, James Abbott McNeill, 
American painter and etcher, 
166; etchings by, presented to 
Metropolitan Museum by Wil- 
liam Loring Andrews, 221; ex- 
hibition of pictures in oil and 
pastel by, 299 

WHITE, Andrew Dickson, American 
educator and historian, congratu- 
latory letter from, on vindication 
of Metropolitan Museum's di- 
rector, 225 

WHITE, Richard Grant, essayist and 
Shakesperian scholar, on the 
Bryan collection of paintings, 44, 
45; attends meeting to initiate 
movement for the establishment 
of a museum of art in New York 
City, 104 

WHITE, Stanford, American archi- 
tect, appointed member of spec- 
ial committee on casts for Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 252 

WHITTREDGE, Worthington, serves 
on 'Committee of Fine Arts of 
Metropolitan Fair, 91 ; a painter 

of landscapes, 101; one of not- 
able supper party at Union 
League Club, 1 17 

WIGHT, P. B., architect of National 
Academy of Design's building, 
56; one of notable supper party 
at the Union League Club, 1 17 

WILKES, Charles, director of Ameri- 
can Academy of the Fine Arts, 10 

WILLARD, Levi Hale, bequest of, to 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
2o8etseq.; interesting light upon 
character and motives of, 209, 
210; his bequest accepted and 
its terms faithfully carried out, 

WILLCOX, William R., at ceremonies 
on opening of East \\ ing of 
Metropolitan Museum, 277 

WILSON, Rufus Rockwell, 4 >i. ;> 

WINSTANLEY, William, English art- 
ist, 80 

WINTER, William, American jour- 
nalist and poet, reads poem at 
unveiling of Poe Memorial, 221 

WOLF, Joseph, succeeds Arthur L. 
Tuckerman as architect to Met- 
ropolitan Museum, 265 

WOLFE, Catharine Lorillard, bene- 
factress of Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art, 133, 211, 212 

WOLFE, John David, portrait of, 
2 i i 

YALE COLLEGE (later University), 
Trumbull the artist accepts 
annuity from, 14 

examples of sixteenth and seven- 
teenth century carved oak 
become property of, 144 n. 



ALBION, The, 144 

ARTS, Charter and By-Laws of, 
10 n., 25, 26; Report of Commit- 
tee of, 20 n. 1 ; Records of, 25 n.; 
Minutes, 28, 29; Keeper's Book, 


58, 60 


Annual Report, 8 n:, 42 n. 1 
ANDREWS, William Loring, Bulletin 

of the Metropolitan Museum of 

Art, 143 n., 162 11.', Letter, 207, 


ART AMATEUR, The, 222 
AXSON, Prof. Stockton, Museums 

and Teachers of English, 308 

BEAUX-ARTS, Gazette des, i37. 
BELLOWS, Henry \\ ., D. D., Address, 

114, 115; Letter to George P. 

Putnam, 120, 121 
BIGELOW, John, Letters, 213 
BLODGETT, William Tilden, Letter, 


BLOOR, Alfred J., Address, etc., 106;;. 
BOOTH, Mary L., History of the 

City of New York, 89, 90 n. 

Annual Reports, 173 
BRISTED, Charles Astor, "That 

Punch!" (poem), 1241;. 

A v> 1 2 4 f> j; 2 

4 ti . , , , o ?/. 

BRYANT, William Cullen, Address, 
1 06 et scq. 

CALVERLEY, Charles, Letter, 224 
CESNOLA, General Louis Palma di, 

Letters, 154, 155, 172; Memor- 
andum of Work, 181 

CHOATE, Joseph Hodges, Address at 
Opening of Metropolitan Mu- 
seumof Art, 183, 196, 198, 199,200 

CLINTON, DeWitt, Address, Sn. 1 , 
21, 22 n. 

COLE, C. C., Address, i 14 

COLUMBIAN, The, 22, 23 

COLVIN, Sidney, Letter, 156*2. 

COMFORT, George Fjske, Art Mu- 
seums of America (published in 
Old and New), 112,113; Letter 
to George P. Putnam, 1 19, 120 


Trust Deed, 70, 73, 74; Charter, 
70, 71; ist Annual Report, 71; 
5th Annual Report, 71, 72 

ington, D. C., Catalogue, 146 n.; 
Series of Photographs, 173 


Cox, Kenyon, Museums and Teach- 
ers of Art, 308 

York, Official Catalogue, 90 

CUMMINGS, Thomas Seir, Historic 
Annals of the National Academy 
of Design, 22 n., 46 ., 49 n , 
50 ., 52 ., 54 77., 56 n., 61 ;;. 

CURTIS, George William, Letter, 225 

DAILY ADVERTISER, New York, 3 ?;.' 

4 . 4 

DECAMPS, Louis, Un Musee 1 rans- 
atlantique, in Gazette des Beaux- 
Arts, 137 n. 



DE PEYSTER, Frederic, Biographical 
Sketch of Chancellor Livingston, 
24 n. 1 

York, 3 n. 2 

DUNLAP, William, History of the 
Arts of Design in the United 
States, 16 n., 20 n. 3 , 28 n. 

DURAND, John, Life and Times of 
A. B. Durand, 8 n. 3 , 61, 62 n., 
64 n., 79 w. 3 , 84 n., 86 n.; John 
Trumbull, 14 rf., 30 n., 32; Pre- 
historic Notes of the Century 
Club, 85 M. 

EGLESTON, Prof. Thomas, Letter, 

20 1, 202 

ELLIN, Robert, Letter, 224 
EVENING MAIL, The, New York, 

1 06, 117, 1 18, 134, 135 n. 
EVENING POST, The, New York, 26, 

27, 78 w. 1 , 2 , 99, 183 n., 189 n., 

190 n., 192 n., 194 n., 19611., 

277, 282, 283 n. 

PAGAN, Louis, Wood-engraving and 

Etching, 25 i 
FRANCIS, Dr. J. W., Old New York, 

4 n. 3 , Handbook of New York, 

FRENCH, Daniel Chester, Letter, 224 

GALAXY, The, 144 


GODKIN, Edwin Lawrence, Letter, 


GODWIN, Parke, Letter, 170 
GOLDEN AGE, The, 144 
GOODE, George Brown, Memorial 

of, 7 n. 
GOODRICH, A. T., Picture of New 

York and Stranger's Guide, etc., 

79 " 2 

GRISWOLD, Isaac J., The Circus 
its Origin and Growth prior to 
1835, iSn. 1 , 80 . 

HALL, G. Stanley, Museums and 

Teachers of History, 308 
HERALD, The, New York, 266 M. 2 
HERRING, James (with James B. 
Longacre), National Portrait 
Gallery of Distinguished Ameri- 
cans, 57 

HITCHCOCK, Hiram, General di 
Cesnola's Discoveries in Cyprus, 

HOME JOURNAL, The, New York, 

'35- 144 
HUNT, Richard Morris, Address, 1 13 

ISHAM, Samuel, History of American 
Painting, 18 . 2 

JARVES, James Jackson, Letter, 225 
JAY, John, Letter to General Ces- 

nola, 100 
JENKINS, Stephen, The Greatest 

Street in the World, 20 M. 4 
JOHNSTON, John Taylor, Letters, 

137, 144 et seq., 172 

KEEP, Austin B., History of the 
New York Society Library, 38 n. 1 

KELBY, R. H., New York Historical 
Society, 1804-1904, \8n. 3 , 20 n. 2 , 
36 w. 1 , 2 , 38 n?, 40 11., 41 n., 42 n. 2 

LAMB, Mrs. (Martha Joanna Reade 
Nash), History of the City of 
New York, 53 n. 
LE BRUN, Pierre, Report, 209, 210 
LONGACRE, James B. See Herring, 

MASPERO, Prof. Gaston, Letter, 212, 

1 02 n. 

LERY, Catalogues, 91 

Act of Incorporation, 125; Con- 
stitution, 125 et seq., 220; Cata- 
logues, 148, 167, 1 68, 169, 171, 

175, 2ii n., 215, 253 n., 299; 
Reports, 149, 161, 163, 173, 174, 

176, 182, 202, 206, 207, 209, 210, 
2 1 1 n., 2 1 5, 223, 232 n., 245, 270, 
2 93. 33> 35; Charter, Consti- 
tution, By-Laws, Lease, Laws, 
150 n., 178 n., 217 n., 220 n., 
231 n., 246;;.', 247 n, 276 n., 
309 n.; Guide-books, 167-170, 
1 75; Series of Etchings and Pho- 
tographs, 173; Correspondence 
and Minutes, 183, 215; Circular, 
200; Prospectus of Art Schools, 



205; Bulletin, 274 n., 295, 29612., 
297 -. 300, 310 n., Handbooks, 

MORSE, Samuel Finley Breese, Re- 
marks, etc. (MS.), 29, 30; Letter 
to DeWitt Clinton, 30, 46, 48 

MURRAY, Alexander S., Letter, 225; 
Ancient Greek Art, 251 

MYRES, Prof. J. L., Letter, 225 

NATION, The, New York, 225 

Catalogue, 171 

ARTS, Constitution, 64, 65; 

Catalogue, 66 
NORTON, Charles Eliot, Lecture on 

Explorations at Ruins of Assos, 

206; Letter, 225 

Resolution on Site of Metropoli- 
tan Museum of Art, i 52 n. 

FINE ARTS, Annual Reports, 173 

PERKINS, Charles C., Letter, 225 

PRATT, Waldo S., Letter, 218 n. 

PRIME, William C., Letters, 164, 225 

PUTNAM, George P., Report to 
Trustees, Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, 149 


REED, Gideon F. T., Letter, 204 
ROGERS, John, Letter, 224 

SARTAIN, John, Reminiscences of a 

Very Old Man, 33 n. 
SHEE, Martin, Letter of Acceptance, 

24 w. 2 

STEBBINS, Henry G., Address, 114 

STURGIS, Russell, Address, 1 13, 1 14; 

Ceramic Art, 150; Letter, i8o! 

TALISMAN, The, 84 

THOMPSON, Rev. Dr. Joseph P., 

Address, 1 14 

THOMPSON, Launt, Letter, 224 
TIFFANY & Co., Messrs., Letter, 1 32 
TIMES, The, New York, 103, 104, 

266 n. 1 
TODD, Charles Burr, In Olde New 

York, 79 n. 1 
TONKS, Prof. Oliver S., Museums 

and Teachers of the Classics, 


TRIBUNE, The, New York, 67, 223 
TUCKERMAN, Henry T., Book of the 

Artists, 6 w. 4 , 13 n., 4511., 92 n. 

VAUX, Calvert, Plans and Specifi- 
cations, Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, 175 176, 178 
VEDDER, Elihu, Digressions, 87, 88 

WATTS, George Frederick, R. A., 

Letter, 214, 215 
WHITE, Andrew Dickson, Letter, 

\\HITE, Richard Grant, Companion 

to Bryan Gallery of Christian 

Art, 44 n. 
WILLARD, Levi Hale, Will, 208; 

Posthumous Letter, 209 
WILSON, Rufus Rockwell, New York 

Old and New, 4 w. 5 
WOLFE, Catharine Lorillard, Will, 

211, 212 
WORLD, The, New York, 189 ., 

192 n., 244 

3 6l 




For Reference 

Not to be taken 

from this library